Angry Peers Suggest Gove Moves to Stoke

Michael Gove was a brave man entering a bear pit when he went to meet with Tory peers this afternoon, following an almost week-long row about his suggestion the Upper House moves to Stoke-on-Trent during parliament’s restoration. Fighting it out, Guido hears Gove was on the receiving end of some cold fury from the party’s traditionalist Noble Peers, not least Lord Cormack who compared the Secretary of State’s letter to an estate agent’s brochure. Andrew Lansley questionably complained the only reason the QE2 Conference Centre had been retained in public hands was to allow the Lords to decamp there. Guido’s mole reports Lords Norton, Geddes, King, Taylor and Hayward all raised concerns, though arguably it was Lord Vaizey who went the furthest. Suggesting it should be Gove moving to Stoke on Trent…

There wasn’t total unity among Tory lords, however. Baroness Fookes asked whether a site to which the Lords would decamp has been identified in Stoke and what costings/savings had been determined. The implication of her question was that there was no site and no costings/savings had been identified. Lord Frost said he’s open-minded about relocation. Appropriately this whole showdown took place in Parliament’s Moses Room. Though by the sound of it Michael Gove won’t be leading an exodus of peers out of SW1 and across the Red Wall any time soon…

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