Despite the confusion over whether members of the government will be allowed to campaign for ‘out’ after the EU renegotiation is complete, it is clear No. 10 is pulling out all the stops to secure European unity.
Though an official list has yet to be circulated, it is apparent that Cameron has massively increased ‘the payroll vote’ by creating a record number of Parliamentary Private Secretaries. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun:
‘Agitators from the last Parliament are being brought back into the fold. “It’s amazing how quickly these rebels turn when the PM calls and asks them to do more work for no more money,” whispers one insider.’
Once the preserve of just the Secretaries of State, Guido understands that all Ministers of State and crucially many Junior Ministers have been appointed a PPS. Therefore binding in a whole swathe of potentially awkward backbenchers to the government line according to last night’s line from the PM to the Lobby:
If they want to vote against No. 10 they will have to resign from the first rung on the greasy pole…