With this vote on purdah tonight, Tory Eurosceptics have shown themselves to be gutless, spineless and useless.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 16, 2015
Nigel not doing the cause of Eurosceptic unity much good with that tweet – perhaps frustrated to be on the sidelines outside parliament. That sentiment will only confirm Tory MPs’ fears that he will be difficult to work with in a broad Eurosceptic coalition.
According to the Press Association the Conservative rebels were: Adam Afriyie (Windsor), Richard Bacon (Norfolk South), John Baron (Basildon & Billericay), Bill Cash (Stone), Philip Davies (Shipley), Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid), Richard Drax (Dorset South), Dr Liam Fox (Somerset North), Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham), Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Gerald Howarth (Aldershot), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough), Bernard Jenkin (Harwich & Essex North), David Jones (Clwyd West), Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham), Stephen McPartland (Stevenage), Anne Main (St Albans), David Nuttall (Bury North), Owen Paterson (Shropshire North), John Redwood (Wokingham), Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Bob Stewart (Beckenham) and Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight).
The numbers are well short of the numbers given as supporters of “Conservatives for Britain”, so this is a disappointing show of strength. Paul Goodman of ConservativeHome notes that Liam Fox has rebelled against his frontbench in a whipped vote for the first time in 23 years…