Chief Whip Simon Hart has removed the Tory whip from Peter Bone. His spokesperson confirmed this afternoon:
“Following a report by the Independent Expert Panel, the Chief Whip has removed the conservative whip from Peter Bone MP.”
The IEP recommended a six-week suspension for Bone yesterday over bullying and sexual misconduct. Today’s news was inevitable…
Tory MPs this afternoon have been emailed with a helpful reminder that it is important to eat if they get hungry, and drink water if they get thirsty. There are a “plethora” of votes this evening, so obviously they don’t want dozens of MPs who don’t know how to feed themselves passing out on the green benches:
“This afternoon we will have a plethora of votes (at least 16) starting at or before 5pm.
We will have continuous votes from 5pm onwards for several hours so please make sure you have eaten something and are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.If you need assistance during voting or feel in anyway unwell in the division lobby tonight please let myself, the Deputy or one of the whips know immediately. It is a warm evening and this many votes can be somewhat taxing so thank you in advance for your patience, understanding and goodwill.Looking forward to seeing you later in the voting lobby.”
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart beat around the bush on Sky this morning when asked what he thinks should happen to Chris Pincher. Eventually he just said “I hesitate to jump in because if I express a view – I’ve got my own private views… I think and I know what I’d like to see happen, you can probably tell what that is just from the way I’m trying to avoid answering your question.” The line that Pincher did the right thing and won’t have the whip suspended grows weaker by the minute…
One notable moment made it out of the Welsh Secretary’s morning media round. Asked about last night’s Partygate fines and whether the PM should resign if he receives one, Simon Hart told Kay Burley:
“We all make judgements which we have time to reflect on and wished we’d made differently, I think for me personally speaking the world has moved on… the idea that every politician – or indeed every journalist for that matter – who makes a misjudgement along the way should automatically be sacked is not something I subscribe to.”
Whoever could he be thinking of?
The Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has fired back at a Bishop for posting a slew of anti-Tory tweets, including claims that Andrew RT Davies had promoted “a fascist slogan“, and that she could “never trust a Tory“. Her profile (since deleted, of course) also included “We are Remain” and “Get The Tories Out”…
Reverend Dr. Joana Penberthy, the Bishop of St. David’s, has already faced a public backlash for her claims, with Chris Loder MP calling for her resignation and RT Davies labelling her views “divisive and intolerant“. Now the Welsh Secretary has also waded into the row with a furious response in today’s Welsh Affairs committee :
“This is an extraordinary act of intolerance which is completely unacceptable in any circumstance, and it seems to me that the Bishop wouldn’t have said that about anybody who happened to pursue a different religion, or a different lifestyle […] there was something about her judgement that says ‘oh, well it’s fine, they’re Tories so we can say what we like and it won’t matter’…I think that this has shone a very, very unfortunate and bright light on individuals’ judgements, and I don’t think that we’ve heard the end of it yet.”
Deus lo Vult…
UPDATE: Guido has been forwarded the letter Chris Loder wrote to the Bishop, which can be read below.