Three Labour MPs May Defect to Tories

This morning the Mail on Sunday carries the eye-catching exclusive that three Labour MPs are on the verge of defecting to the Tories. Glen Owen and Brendan Carlin claim this is due to disillusionment with Starmer’s leadership, with the MPs already having opened up “lines of communication” with Tory whips. In related news, a senior Labour MP was spotted by a co-conspirator chatting with two Mail on Sunday hacks and three senior Tory advisors at a conference bar last night…

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Sarah Wollaston’s Successor Introducing Bill to Force Recall Petitions for Defecting MPs

New Tory MP Anthony Mangnall is to propose a Private Members Bill tomorrow that would make MPs that switch parties face recall petitions and potentially by-elections. The bill hopes to amend the Recall of MPs Act (2015) to add a fourth criterion that would enable a recall petition for MPs who voluntarily change their political party affiliation mid-parliament. A step in the right direction, although Guido would prefer a real right of recall, with no conditions needing to be met in order to petition…

The bill is personal to Mangnall, who represents Totnes – the former seat of Sarah Wollaston. Wollaston switched parties three times in her final year as an MP: from Tory to The Independent Group for Change in February; to an independent MP in June; and to the LibDems in August. Not once did she, or any other LibDem or Independent Group for Change MPs, seek the consent of their constituents…

Read the proposed bill in full here:

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Phillip Lee Ruins Lib Dem Reshuffle Plans by Delaying Defection

Arch-Remainer Tory and cringe-worthy ‘Great British Hero’ Phillip Lee has declared he is to spend the summer considering whether to defect to the Lib Dems, finally wiping out the Tory’s one* seat majority. While the news will not come as a surprise to most Brexiteers, the wait to hear his decision has apparently disrupted new Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson’s reshuffle plans, who Guido hears had been delaying the party’s reshuffle in advance of the Lee’s anticipated defection. 

On the On The House’ podcast, Lee described politics as “like plate tectonics […] and I feel like I’m straddling the San Andreas Fault of the Conservative party at the moment” going onto reiterate his opposition to no deal and saying “I’m going to spend the summer thinking” about jumping ship to the Lib Dems. No doubt it will have been a blow to Lee’s ego that it took three days for anyone to notice his big announcement…

*In practice three, including the suspended Charlie Elphicke and assuming the Lib Dems win the Brecon by-election…

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Defection Watch

Defections seem closer than ever, and rumours of a new centrist split in the Labour Party are reaching fever pitch. Guido has therefore begun a handy crowd sourced ‘defection watch’ list for co-conspirators to keep track of MPs on the verge of ditching their respective parties. You can send in your suggestions/tips here

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