The coverage from Libya is obviously eclipsing Westminster, but the In/Out fight is developing. This whole thing is an unnecessary mess for No.10. For better or worse they would have won a free vote with the help of Labour, and time is running out for a wrecking amendment. The weekly Tory whip email says that the three-line is on and No. 10 have said they will sack any PPS who rebels against it. There is talk of an organised resignation pact between the Parliamentary Private Secretaries, but having texted a couple of the more likely candidates, they suggest that they will wait to see what the Prime Minister has to say on Monday. So far only Stewart Jackson, PPS to Owen Paterson, has broken cover:
“Some things are more important than party preferment. The bond of trust with my constituents, the views of people who have had no say on our European policy in any substantive sense for 31 years and I think I owe it to them to give them that say.”
He says he would be disappointed to lose the job. As Guido mentioned earlier, we could even see Ministerial resignations with Nick Herbert’s name being mentioned more than once. It’s worth remembering Willets and Alan Duncan were Maastricht agitators too.
Looking even higher up the ladder, there is open discussion of just what Iain Duncan Smith is going to do. Just two weeks ago he was writing about what a hindrance the EU is to his beloved brief…