Labour Chief Whip Breached IPSA Rules

Guido can reveal IPSA has concluded that Labour‘s Chief Whip Sir Alan Campbell broke the rules by publishing a party political survey on his taxpayer-funded website. While the Standards Commissioner’s investigation isn’t yet complete, IPSA has privately declared that expenses “do not allow for surveys to be used in connection with party political purposes, which would include gathering data on people’s voting intentions”. Campbell soon deleted the data retrieved by the survey, although IPSA still gave him a slap on the wrist…

There has been a breach of the rules, in that, the survey posted should not have included questions around voting intentions, whilst the cost of hosting the website was being claimed from IPSA. IPSA are in the process of arranging for the costs to be reimbursed – this will be hosting costs only for the period the survey was in place.”

Campbell insists the data was never shared with the Labour Party, and has vowed never to do it again. He still maintains the survey offered him no “campaigning advantage” whatsoever…

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Labour Chief Whip Under Investigation for Using Public Resources for Party Purposes

Labour Chief Whip Sir Alan Campbell is the latest Member of the Shadow Cabinet to be placed under investigation by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. The announcement states that Sir Alan is being investigated for “Use of information received in confidence in the course of the Member’s parliamentary duties”, and “Use of facilities [parliamentary email address] provided from the public purse”. Usually we’d have to wait for Kathryn Stone’s report before we learnt the details…

Guido, however, understands the investigation concerns Sir Alan sending an emails from his parliamentary requesting that constituents complete a “summer survey”, to get “thoughts on important local and national issues”. Whilst the email itself wasn’t partisan, the link to the survey took constituents to his Labour MP website, which then collected both the constituents voting intention, and contact details on behalf of the local Labour branch — should users agree. The website also installed Labour Party cookies on the user’s computer. 

A relatively minor mistake, though Guido would have thought a veteran like Sir Alan — with 25 years of Commons experience — would have known better…

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Starmer Bottles Sacking Picketing Shadow Ministers

Starmer has bottled sacking any shadow ministers who broke his edict not to join rail picket lines last week, The Guardian reveals. The five shadow ministers and PPSs who joined striking workers will merely be “warned about future conduct”, which even represents a climbdown from briefings last week that the rebels would be “encouraged to issue public apologies” to avoid risking disciplinary action. According to the Grauniad, the five rule breakers were sent letters instead of losing their jobs. Thankfully the slaps on the wrist were posted before the potential post office strikes, which presumably they’ll also participate in…


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Labour’s Whip Undecided on Sanctions for Picketing PPSs

Labour’s Chief Whip, Alan Campbell, will only decide after Saturday’s strike action what, if any, disciplinary action he will take against members of Labour’s frontbench team who defy Starmer’s instructions not to picket today. As per Guido’s morning story, at least two shadow PPSs have already broken the edict, as well as the constituency Labour Party of the Shadow Transport Secretary herself. It’s seemingly not just the rail unions and Labour’s chief whip on strike today; credit to PoliticsHome for getting this line – Guido asked Labour’s press office the exact same question two and a half hours ago to blanket silence…

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Speaker Lobbied Over Alan Campbell’s Disorderly Conduct

Following this morning’s story revealing Labour whip Alan Campbell loudly voted “NO!” by acclamation and then yes by division in last night’s provocative opposition day motions, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has raised the matter with the Speaker’s office. It is against Parliamentary rules to shout one way and vote the other. As Hunt says in his letter, “This conduct is disorderly and I think it should be addressed.”…

Hunt references paragraph 20.61 of Erskine May, which notes of MPs that “if their voices and their votes should be at variance, the voice will bind the vote.” Alan Campbell’s voice can clearly be heard in the acclamation vote, and Guido has corroborated the fact that he did shout “NO” with multiple witnesses. By the rules of the House, Campbell’s vote should be changed from Aye to No…

While the non-political public will find this procedural wrangling a dull process story, it should result in a Labour Whip being the only recorded vote against. Which will be a funny backfiring of the stunt.

Read the letter in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 19 January 2021 @ 11:45 19 Jan 2021 @ 11:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour MPs Made Up Only Parliamentary Opposition to Labour Motion

Labour went hard last night attacking Tory MPs for not backing their non-binding motions on universal credit and education support, despite both motions passing with no opposition from Conservative MPs. In order to force a division and score social media points, Labour submitted two of its own MPs to be Tellers for the Noes, and had whips vote No by acclamation. Meaning that Labour MPs pretended to vote against their own motion by acclamation, only to then abstain or vote for it in the division.

This led to the bizarre situation whereby an uncontentious matter went to a division. Divisions are ordinarily only called if there’s dissent. Multiple co-conspirators have confirmed to Guido the names of the Labour MPs who shouted “NO”, manufacturing dissent and forcing the division. Two shadow ministers and the Opposition Deputy Chief Whip…

  • Gill Furniss
  • John Spellar
  • Alan Campbell

Whilst not a single Tory MP even briefly voted against the motions last night, three Labour MPs did.

Labour MPs are technically within the rules when shouting No, however Erskine May makes clear, there are rules on “voice and vote”. Whilst MPs can shout and then not vote, they cannot shout one way and vote another. Neither Gill Furniss nor John Spellar voted for either motion, so they are in the clear. Whip Alan Campbell, however, voted for Labour’s motion in the division despite having voted against it by acclamation. That is disorderly.

Deputy Speaker (and former Labour Chief Whip) Rosie Winterton, however, who presided over the first vote, claimed she did not see anything disorderly. One Tory MP tells Guido “Once a Labour chief whip, always a Labour chief whip”Tory Chairman Amanda Milling said “If you wanted evidence that Labour were playing games this proves it”. 

mdi-timer 19 January 2021 @ 08:03 19 Jan 2021 @ 08:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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