Tory Rebellion Over Attempt to Break Parliament Up Early

The government is facing another rebellion – this time over its attempt to break parliament up early. Recess was due to begin next Tuesday, but Number 10 tonight sought to bring it forward to this Thursday, five days sooner. There will be a vote in the Commons tomorrow morning on the date change. A cynical attempt to send Tory MPs off on their summer holidays early so they stop protesting about Brexit…

Tory MPs, even Remainers, are now vowing to rebel on tomorrow’s vote and seek to stay until next week. Nick Boles and Nicholas Soames have already said they will vote against the government:

Labour say they have not ruled out voting against the government. A Labour source says:

“It is staggering that the Tories are in such a state they are considering just packing up and going home. Theresa May is running scared of her own MPs.”

So, Labour MPs, what would you rather vote for tomorrow? An early holiday? Or actually opposing the government, sticking to the original recess dates, voting against this attempt to break parliament up early and having another five days to expose Tory chaos? 

DPMQs: Who Is Asking the Questions

Q1 Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West)

Q2 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley)

Q3 Dan Carden (Liverpool, Walton)

Q4 Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley)

Q5 Andrew Rosindell (Romford)

Q6 Wes Streeting (Ilford North)

Q7 Julian Sturdy (York Outer)

Q8 Darren Jones (Bristol North West)

Q9 Julie Cooper (Burnley)

Q10 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q11 Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)

Q12 Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire)

Q13 Dame Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)

Q14 Julia Lopez (Hornchurch and Upminster)

Q15 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)

Stuck On The Buses With Jezza and May

Stuck in the 1970s, weakly humorous and generally giving off a sense of Britain falling apart at the seams: there’s little difference between the grayscale, brown-jacketed world of Jeremy Corbyn and that portrayed on almost certainly his teatime TV favourite On The Buses. Both Corbyn and his sitcom equivalent engender this sense of England: a place framed by frayed clothes, weak and watery tea, warm beer, inedible sandwiches, awful puns, garish interior fabrics and constant rain. Jeremy Corbyn deals in the politics of socialist nostalgia, the attic of his mind is a retirement home for the broken ideas and shattered ideals of the old left. Favoured among this kunstkammer of intellectual junk are outmoded and technologically superseded modes of transport. For Corbyn, the bus represents the collective society. It’s knackered, grim and useless. But that’s all just fine to him, because everyone’s stuck in it together…

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Penny’s Sign Language at the Despatch Box

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 4 July.
Q2 Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham)
Q3 Rachel Maclean (Redditch)
Q4 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)
Q5 Gillian Keegan (Chichester)
Q6 Mr Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
Q7 Marsha De Cordova (Battersea)
Q8 Alex Norris (Nottingham North)
Q9 Mr Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby)
Q10 Julie Cooper (Burnley)
Q11 Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Q12 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Q13 Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
Q14 Imran Hussain (Bradford East)
Q15 Andrew Lewer (Northampton South)

Comments in the comments…

Williamson Heckled By Siri

Gavin Williamson’s phone goes off as he speaks at the despatch box. Was he heckled by the sound of his own voice? One of his Insta stories from the Commons chamber? With the audio turned up, it turns out it was actually Siri: “I’ve found something on the web for Syrian Democratic Forces”

Perhaps soon AI will be able to replace MPs as lobby fodder. Dread to think what else Siri has overheard the Defence Secretary say…

Just 7% of MPs Complete Fire Safety Training Despite “Another Grenfell” Warning

Just 7% of MPs have completed fire safety training despite Parliament being identified as a ‘red risk’ fire hazard which has the potential to be “another Grenfell”, Guido can reveal. Around 46 out of 650 have completed Parliament’s online fire safety course which contains vital information on how to evacuate their staff. MPs were asked to undertake the training by House authorities. Sir David Amess, MP’s representative on the Fire Safety Committee, said in an email to colleagues:

“Regardless of how you voted on the restoration and renewal motion, whilst we remain in the Palace it is beholden on all of us to do all we can to make ourselves familiar with evacuation procedures if a fire broke out.”

Former Black Rod David Leakey compared Parliament to “another Grenfell” waiting to happen. Fire experts have rated the collapsing building in the highest possible category of fire risk. Even if MPs don’t care for their own safety they have a duty to their staff…

Kelvin Hopkins: I’m Not on the Fiddle

Lecture on standards in public life from Kelvin Hopkins in the Commons this afternoon.

“I for a long time have been concerned about the public confidence in politicians and the state of government, and it’s very important that we emphasise – we have to get across that we are overwhelmingly honest people trying to do the right thing by our constituents and by the country to improve everyone’s lives. But there are those who aren’t and I’m taken back to when I was first elected as a councillor many years ago, 1972 to be precise, and I was challenged outside a public meeting in my ward by a scrap metal merchant who said ‘look mate, we’re all on the fiddle aren’t we?’ And I said ‘no actually, I’m not on the fiddle’.”

He remains under investigation for alleged sexual harassment…

Bercow Won’t Fly England Flag for Belgium Game Tonight

Bercow confirms that the Cross of St George will not fly above Parliament for the Brexit derby tonight, but it will for future World Cup games. Beaten to it on Whitehall… 

F*ck PMQs

F*ck business? Well, no. F*ck PMQs? Absolutely yes. Today’s hell-fest turned horrific as Speaker Bercow intoned: “there’s unlimited time as far as I’m concerned”. Strap in

Jezza did open – as expected – with the ‘rats in a sack’ ploy: swiftly pointing out the evident disagreement within Theresa May’s cabinet on, well, just about everything nowadays (rather like every cabinet in British political history, by the way). He picked up on Boris Johnson’s reported four-letter commentary. The key weakness here is as follows: being lectured on party unity – especially regarding Brexit – by Jeremy Corbyn is like taking advice on harmony and non-violence from Tom and Jerry. Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is not only divided on leaving the EU, but on spending plans, on the manifesto, on his leadership, on the future direction of his party and on the very definition of what the Labour Party, in its very essence, should be. The leader’s office is locked in a perpetual war with its own spokespeople. The Shadow Cabinet meeting room might as well be fitted with a revolving door: more than 100 resignations since Corbyn became leader (not to mention the sackings). Sadly, the irony of Corbyn’s critique was not conveyed. F*ck PMQs…

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Hands Rinses Bercow

A subtle demolition of Bercow by Greg Hands:

“Mr Speaker, we all need to keep our election pledges, and that, Mr Speaker, applies whether we made those pledges one year ago or nine years ago.”

He lied…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 27 June.
Q2 Luke Pollard (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Q3 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
Q4 Ben Lake (Ceredigion)
Q5 Julian Knight (Solihull)
Q6 Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton)
Q7 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)
Q8 Kevin Foster (Torbay)
Q9 Bim Afolami (Hitchin and Harpenden)
Q10 Bill Grant (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Q11 Mary Creagh (Wakefield)
Q12 Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)
Q13 Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West)
Q14 Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)

Assange Out In July?

Not a very subtle prod to Julian Assange here from FCO minister Alan Duncan, assuring him that he will be given medical attention if he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy. Interesting that this follows the Guardian reporting that he may be on the way out of the Embassy soon – Guido hears similar whispers. Watch this space…

European Union Withdrawal Bill Receives Royal Assent

A moment for Brexiteers to celebrate.

Bercow’s Last Day

In June 2009 when he became Speaker, John Bercow promised MPs he would serve “for no more than nine years in total”. That deadline expires today, but he’s still in office…

While we all wait for Bercow’s last day, this is the line from the Speaker’s office:

“He was elected by the House in 2017 for the course of the Parliament. In the event he has anything to say on his future plans, he will make an announcement to the House first.”

Still waiting…

NHS Tax Rises: Would You Prefer to Be Pickpocketed or Mugged?

Which one arrives quicker? An A&E doctor or Jeremy Corbyn’s first question at PMQs? At least the former is subject to a target and to monitoring, and – more often than not – when doctors arrive, they come baring sympathy and hard drugs. When Jezza’s opener finally landed, it was more of the ‘men in white coats’ flavour, in that it only served to confirm the reinforced, double-glazed looking glass through which we have all passed. Jezza quizzed May on tax, accusing her at various points in the exchange of introducing “phantom” and “mystery” taxes in order to pay for the NHS funding increase (which he himself has been demanding since homo sapiens evolved from homo erectus). It’s more than a brass neck when a socialist lectures on tax, Jezza’s must be made from reinforced kevlar… Continue reading

Tories Make Sick Labour MP Vote in Wheelchair

Sick Labour MP Naz Shah is forced to vote in a wheelchair and clutching a sick bucket after the Tories refused to keep to the convention of “nodding through” ill MPs. Well done, great look.

Crackers Brake: I Want to Stop Brexit

56% of his constituents in Carshalton voted to Leave…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Dr Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 20 June.
Q2 Mr Gavin Shuker (Luton South)
Q3 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)
Q4 Fiona Bruce (Congleton)
Q5 Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde)
Q6 Gareth Thomas (Harrow West)
Q7 Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough)
Q8 Lucy Allan (Telford)
Q9 Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)
Q10 Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
Q11 Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)
Q12 Lisa Nandy (Wigan)
Q13 Ian Paisley (North Antrim)
Q14 Bim Afolami (Hitchin and Harpenden)

Comments in the comments…

Saj: Time to Review Scheduling of Cannabis

Sajid Javid announces review of the scheduling of cannabis, currently in the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use”.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

No prizes for guessing who Andrea Leadsom is talking about:

“As you said last week, Mr Speaker, we have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of this House and as Leader of the House I seek to do exactly that, treating all members of parliament with courtesy and respect. I hope and expect all Honourable and Right Honourable members to do likewise.”

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