Penny Blasts “The First Cuckoo of Spring” Bridgen After Vaccine Rant

Penny Mordaunt was in characteristically good form in Commons business questions today. In response to a… passionate rant from Andrew Bridgen on the BBC’s vaccine coverage, the Leader of the House responded with a solid put-down:

“A very important moment, Madam Deputy Speaker, I think we should pause for a moment because I think we’ve just heard the first cuckoo of spring”.

A well-delivered jab…

mdi-timer 25 May 2023 @ 14:25 25 May 2023 @ 14:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dawn Butler’s Lucky Escape

Dawn Butler’s Commons hissy fit yesterday went exactly as planned: her own Twitter clip is currently on 1.4 million views, though she’s retweeted various other uploads of the clip which total 6.3 million in about half a day. She even had a speedily filmed and produced Byline TV interview out on the strop stunt…

It turns out Dawn’s stunt came very close to backfiring. Thankfully for her she was only suspended for the remainder of the day’s sitting – if she’d been thrown out using a similar standing order, and been suspended until the next sitting day, she would have remained a suspended MP going into the Summer recess, thereby being unable to draw a salary for over six weeks. Six weeks of an MP’s salary would have come to £9453. Commons sources suggest Dawn’s dodging of this unlucky outcome was unlikely to have been deliberate after a careful reading of Parliamentary procedure…

mdi-timer 23 July 2021 @ 11:56 23 Jul 2021 @ 11:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Covid Proxy Voting: Not So Scandalous

The Spectator claimed this morning that proxy voting was the “… next parliamentary scandal waiting to happen”, pointing to the rapid growth in proxy voting in recent days as having “profound constitutional implications” as a result of over 200 Tory MPs now letting their whips vote for them, instead of casting their own independent vote. Coincidentally a couple of MPs have voiced their concerns to Guido, telling him to look at the huge numbers now placing their vote with the party authorities. It’s a good headline, though the truth is less exciting…

A massive growth in the government’s power would have the potential for scandal, however this is no executive coup. The rise in proxy voting is merely a temporary Covid-friendly issue to reduce the number of MPs crowding in the voting lobby – with the measures getting more takeup during lockdown 2. Even 203 proxy votes sitting with the Tory deputy chief whip doesn’t mean they control how votes are cast – proxy voting whips can rebel on behalf of the MP if that’s their wish.

James Forsyth called on the “bulk issuing of proxy votes [to] be reversed.” He’ll therefore be delighted to hear the freedom for MPs to easily use proxy voting is – in the words of the house – just for “during the pandemic” and is time-limited until 30th March 2021. Guido likes a scandal about MPs not doing their job properly as much as the next guy, however this isn’t it…

mdi-timer 12 November 2020 @ 14:21 12 Nov 2020 @ 14:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Confirmed: Boundary Review at 650

MPs will be breathing a sigh of relief later on as Guido can reveal a Written Ministerial Statement will confirm the heavily a rumoured and lobbied for change of remit for the Boundary Commission. As Guido pointed to in January, the Government has now officially decided to maintain the number of seats in the Commons at 650, rather than Cameron’s 2010 promise of reducing the number to 600. The statement will justify the retention of 50 extra seats on the basis of the 73 UK MEPs losing theirs, and an alleged increased workload on MPs. This, of course, dubiously rests on the assumption that the work MEPs did was consequential…

UPDATE: The statement has now been published:

“This is a change in policy from the position previously legislated for under the Coalition Government. Since that policy was established in the Coalition Agreement, the United Kingdom has now left the European Union. The UK Parliament will have a greater workload now we are taking back control and regaining our political and economic independence. It is therefore sensible for the number of parliamentary constituencies to remain at 650.”

mdi-timer 24 March 2020 @ 15:03 24 Mar 2020 @ 15:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
What is Happening in the Commons This Afternoon

3:30pm: Windrush Urgent Question.

4:15pm: The PM will then be making her statement on Syria.

At around 6pm the govt is planning an emergency business statement to make time for a debate on Syria tomorrow. No details at the moment on the terms of the debate they are seeking – it could be a full-day debate possibly followed by a more substantive retrospective vote. That would explain why Tory MPs are on a three-line whip tomorrow.

Labour’s Alison McGovern is currently planning to apply for an SO24 emergency debate. If the Speaker granted McGovern’s debate any vote would be non-binding and merely on a motion that the House has heard the debate.

So at the moment it looks like we are heading towards a more substantive debate tomorrow. All subject to change… 

mdi-timer 16 April 2018 @ 14:15 16 Apr 2018 @ 14:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments