Tories Planning Super Secret Surprise Attack

Pssst… Don’t tell anyone but here’s the plan. Tory MPs are very grumpy at the fact they are being kept in Westminster on a three-line whip until close of play tomorrow as there is “important government business to secure”. A Whip’s claim that is for the “Coastal Defences (Clacton & Frinton-0n-Sea) Abolition Order” is believed to be disinformation. In fact – despite obfuscation – it is looking increasingly like a trap.

The consensus is that Osborne is planning to trap Labour with a quick and dirty vote on his plan to put into law the promise to balance Britain’s underlying budget deficit. Shame he didn’t do that on May 7 2010…

Labour Sorry for Hospitalised MP Wife Attack

“Jake Berry, absent” cried the Speaker as the Tory MP for Rossendale and Darwen, whose name was on the Order Paper for PMQs, failed to appear when called to ask his question. Cue Labour whips piling in and living to regret it about three minutes later:

They have since sent him a full and frank apology. Awkward.

How Tories Stop Slacker MPs From Giving Whips the Slip

Up at the Tory base in Newark, James Landale bring us picture evidence of the roll of honour for campaigning MPs. As Guido revealed in the Sun at the weekend, MPs groaned when told by Deputy Chief Whip Greg Hands that they would have to sign in to prove they had actually turned up to pound the pavements. Crafty slackers slipping off home immediately after signing their names on the whiteboard were then told they would be required to sign in both in the morning and the afternoon. Now they have to jot down their exact arrival and departure times for all to see. Three visits is the minimum expected of them, as you can see by Chris Skidmore’s keenness to show his commitment in the picture above. Hands is emailing out lists of MPs in order of appearances to name and shame the skivers…

The 26 Tory HS2 Rebels

26 Tory rebels on the second reading of the HS2 bill say Labour, plus one teller:

Steve Baker
John Baron
Bob Blackman
Peter Bone
Andrew Bridgen
Dan Byles
Bill Cash
Christopher Chope
Philip Davies
Michael Fabricant
Cheryl Gillan
Phillip Hollobone
Chris Kelly
Jeremy Lefroy
Jullian Lewis
David Nuttall
Mark Pawsey
Christopher Pincher
Sir John Randall
John Redwood
Laurence Robertson
Sir Richard Shepherd
Sir Peter Tapsell
Andrew Turner
Andrew Tyrie
Chris White
James Gray- Teller

Failing to vote for his own bill was one David Cameron…

Via Labour Whips.

Don Foster’s Afternoon Whip Around

New LibDem chief whip Don Foster should learn when to keep his mouth shut. While topping up his legendary booze cabinet in Westminster Tesco’s early yesterday afternoon, a far from salubrious looking Foster treated himself to 40 black Superkings and a tin of Roses. Lucidly chatting with a flirty woman in a lovely grey tracksuit, Foster bragged to his mystery lady friend how he had kept the LibDems in line over yesterday’s nuclear announcement despite her claims that “it’s basically a subsidy”. It’s not really the job of chief whip to publicly agree that there were internal party ructions. Then again, that is what you get if you appoint your third choice chief…

Afriyie Pal Andrew Bridgen Summoned By Chief Whip

Number 10 haven’t taken Andrew Bridgen’s Brady letter too well. After Bridgen huffed:

“There is a credibility problem with the current leader. It’s like being in an aeroplane. The pilot doesn’t know how to land it. We can either do something about it or sit back, watch the in-flight movies and wait for the inevitable”

… he has now been summoned for a meeting with the Chief Whip. Presumably he’ll be asking them why they leaked his name to the press…

Whips Accused of Career Threats During Gay Marriage Free Vote

There was plenty of speculation that the gay marriage vote was not quite as free as the party leaders would have us believe, though Guido was not expecting MPs, including a government PPS, to put such allegations in writing. A cross-party letter lobbying the Lords does just that:

The allegation of coercion was signed by Jim Paice, Edward Leigh, Glyn Davies, Fiona Bruce, Richard Drax, Jim Shannon, Tim Loughton, David Simpson, Jim Dobbin, Karl McCartney, Steward Jackson, Therese Coffey, David Burrows, Gerald Howarth and Craig Whittaker.

The full letter can be read here.

Guido is sure the Tory whips loved that one…



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Quote of the Day

Paul Waugh asks Chuka Umunna if he wants children:

“It’s always something that my father taught me, which is really the bedrock of everything is your family and that’s true. My family and the people close to me keep me sane. Sometimes, things get blown up out of all proportion in this place and that’s always the reaction of my family, my girlfriend and my friends. I can use that to judge whether it really is that important.”

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