Tory MP Heckles Sajid Over Covid Sunset Clauses

Hat-tip to Tory backbencher and long-time member of the awkward squad Karl McCartney who during Sajid’s Commons statement that all the new Covid restrictions will be subject to a sunset clause on January 26, shouted out “what year?!”. His fellow backbenchers seemed to enjoy it.

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Hoyle Warns MPs Parliament’s Covid Measures May Get Even Stricter

Lindsay Hoyle has defended the introduction of new Covid measures on the parliamentary estate, including mask-wearing and social distancing, after Guido first revealed the plans last night – ahead of the Commission’s announcement to Members. A story which angered Tory MPs Karl McCartney and William Wragg, with the latter pointing out his “surprise” at the news appearing in Guido before his own inbox…

Speaking this afternoon, Hoyle dodged the question of why Guido heard before MPs, though warned that failure to comply may soon result in further Covid restrictions in SW1:

“We’ve got to work together. We’ve come this far because the House has pulled together, ensuring that we’ve got through it…it is about us doing the right thing…we have had an increase in Covid-19 across the House, it’s been badly reflected recently in the rising numbers…

“If we can get through these two weeks, I believe we’re then through to next year…unusually, the transmission has been on the estate…so let’s not try and undermine the officials of the house…I will always put the health and safety of this House first. So please help me keep this House open by trying to get through a very crucial two weeks…I’ve got to say, the measures have not been stringent, they could have been even more stringent, and some might have to…”

MPs will no doubt be staying tuned into Guido to find out if and when they are…

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Tory Students Targeted in Campus Free Speech Clampdown
Lincoln University students’ union has taken away control of its Conservative Society’s social media pages in the latest challenge to campus free speech. Tory students were accused of bringing their university into disrepute for tweeting about its woeful record on free expression. The heavy-handed student union responded and now the Tory group’s Facebook page has disappeared and the group has announced a two month Twitter hiatus. Lincoln MP Karl McCartney said:

“This intolerant, illiberal and totalitarian response is akin to something out of the Soviet Union or North Korea rather than a place for learning and debate. The loony-left has certainly taken over it seems at the University of Lincoln Students’ Union and this is another chapter in their knee-jerk desire to stifle debate which revealed itself as they began ‘no platforming’ people they don’t like including those who are democratically elected… the Students’ Union ‘snowflakes’ are so self-obsessed they forget Lincoln is the home to one of the original Magna Cartas, the foundation stone of freedom the world over.”

Guido couldn’t have put it better…

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Anti-Bercow Lobbying Effort Latest

Tory MP Karl McCartney has emailed all MPs making the case for them to sign the Duddridge EDM:

From: MCCARTNEY, Karl
Sent: 14 February 2017 15:15
To: MCCARTNEY, Karl
Subject: Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Bercow

Dear Colleague,

I am contacting you as I am aware a number of colleagues do not normally sign EDMs and so are unaware or unsure of the easy way to support the Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Bercow as put down by our colleague James Duddridge MP.

The recent outburst by the Speaker, unilaterally barring the President of the United States – our closest ally – from addressing Members of Parliament, was a breach of Parliamentary protocol that parallels no others that neither I, nor more senior Members can recall. It was also indicative of a growing trend in politics of people in powerful positions showing contempt for democracy and an electorate who have made their views crystal clear.

The Speaker is the Chief Officer of the highest authority in the House of Commons and must be politically neutral and seen to be neutral at all times. He or she is, ultimately, the referee on the pitch of our proceedings, not a fellow player. Whether you agree with Speaker Bercow’s criticisms of President Trump or not, the very fact that he made those statements in the place and at the time that he did, at all, shows that he is not politically impartial and that his position is now untenable as his lack of neutrality on a number of issues has manifested itself wider than just Parliament.

I hope you will join me in supporting the EDM and Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Bercow and please do email or give me a call if you would like to discuss this further.

Kind regards,

Karl

Guido understands it already has considerably more support than the Carswell motion against Michael Martin…

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Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight

Hilary Benn’s Brexit select committee has descended into its first inevitable bunfight after it published a report demanding a significant transition arrangement before we fully leave the EU. As Guido reported yesterday, Remainers want to use a ‘transition’ lasting several years to buy time and prevent a real Brexit. Predictably, the Remain majority Brexit select committee has suggested it wants the same. Karl McCartney, a Leave committee member, has broken ranks to blast his committee’s own report:

“I believe this Report is flawed in certain areas, which should not be a surprise given that the majority of the (mainly Labour and SNP) MPs elected to it voted for us to Remain… I entirely reject the Remain MPs’ calls in respect of transitional arrangements on trade and tariffs, nor do I accept some of the more emotive and negative language from the Remain side of the argument. I had hoped that a more collegiate view would have prevailed, but some of those representing the minority Parties are obviously not of the same opinion, and so this Select Committee seems to be determined to operate in a different way to others. These MPs, I fear, are seeking to thwart the democratic will of the 17½ million people who voted to Leave the European Union by taking part in the largest democratic vote our Country has had. Prolonged transitional arrangements are in neither the UK’s, nor indeed the EU’s, interests – they would merely prolong the uncertainty for businesses and everyone else.”

Change Britain, which has Brexit select committee member Michael Gove among its supporters, is also unimpressed. Gisela Stuart says:

“There are sensible practical arguments that can be made in favour of negotiating a transitional deal to give businesses time to prepare as we leave the EU. However, any such arrangements must be time limited and must not be used by those who refuse to accept the referendum result to keep the UK in the EU by the back door.”

A swift transitional period may be sensible, a prolonged delay is a Remain attempt to prevent a real Brexit…

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