Tory Whips Order MPs to ‘Stay Alert’

Tory MPs were amused to see Government messaging being driven into their internal operational communications today, as Deputy Chief Whip Stuart Andrew told them to “stay alert” for possible divisions this afternoon.

Dear Colleagues,

Please note that there are three Government SI’S on today’s business. Divisions are possible throughout the afternoon so we advise colleagues to stay alert; however, we will endeavour to give colleagues 30 minutes notice where possible for any Divisions taking place.

Stuart Andrew MP 
Deputy Chief Whip

One MP asks Guido if they have to be double alert now…

mdi-timer 19 May 2020 @ 14:50 19 May 2020 @ 14:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Parliament Moving to Three Day Week

Tory Chief Whip Mark Spencer has told colleagues that the Commons “will only sit on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until further notice” in an email to Tory MPs. He adds that “this week we don’t expect colleagues to attend the chamber”. It’s not business as usual…

MPs have also been told that “Due to IT limitations, any UQs and Statements will be restricted and a two hour time limit will be imposed.” Lindsay Hoyle will update the whole house on “arrangements for future proceedings” at 2:30pm on Tuesday…

mdi-timer 17 April 2020 @ 16:19 17 Apr 2020 @ 16:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Did the Chief Whip Help Grieve Get His Votes?

One theory doing the rounds among Brexiteers this morning is that the whips engineered the loss of the Grieve amendment – it is notable that 25 Tory MPs voted for it compared to just two on the other two amendments. Chief whip Julian Smith, according to one Tory MP, had a smile on his face when the amendment passed and the whips did little or nothing to pressure MPs regarding it. Is this a Machiavellian tool to encourage Brexiteers to back May’s deal?

Look at it from the the Remain-backing chief whip’s point of view – while it has no more force of law than a debate at the Oxford Union, it does give the whips an opportunity to frighten Tory MPs, “look old boy if you don’t fall into line, Grieve’s lot will force us into a second referendum or, worse still, a general election”.  These are febrile times, nothing would surprise Guido…

mdi-timer 5 December 2018 @ 09:58 5 Dec 2018 @ 09:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
May Insists Pairing Scandal “An Honest Mistake”

Not sure fibbing that you didn’t tell MPs to break their pairs, and then admitting you did when caught red-handed, can be described as either “honest” or a “mistake”. Ministers and Tory MPs requiring pairs in future will have grave fears about how things are going to play out under the current chief whip…

UPDATE: Tom Watson:

“It is unbelievable that the Prime Minister has repeated the desperate and blatantly untrue excuses made by her Party Chair and Chief Whip. This is a serious issue that goes beyond efficient administration in the House of Commons. This is about public trust in politics. At such a crucial time for our country, people expect candour and decency, not cowardice and dishonesty.”

mdi-timer 20 July 2018 @ 12:14 20 Jul 2018 @ 12:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brandon Knew He Was Paired But Voted Anyway

The government’s “honest mistake” line has collapsed further as Guido can reveal Brandon Lewis knew he was paired ahead of the crunch customs votes – but voted anyway. A Tory source has confirmed that he was aware he was paired on Tuesday night. They say he was then told by a whip that he would be required to vote in the two crunch votes, so he did. He categorically denies he was aware that he was paired with the pregnant Jo Swinson. A Tory source insists Brandon acted in good faith…

We know that Julian Smith was explicitly telling paired MPs to break their pairs. We know Brandon knew he was paired, that despite this he received an instruction to vote, and he then voted. Either Brandon has been royally stitched up and misled by Smith, or he knew he was breaking his pair…

mdi-timer 19 July 2018 @ 15:25 19 Jul 2018 @ 15:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory MP Accuses Chief Whip and Government of Lying

This is the government line via Laura K:

“Tory sources say chief whip considered but did not go through with telling any MPs on short term pairs to vote even though they weren’t meant to”

But one of those paired Tory MPs tells The Sun:

“Julian told me I was needed and told me to come in and vote. Of course he knew I was paired. I didn’t vote and honoured my pair, and he demanded to know why not afterwards.”

Either that Tory MP or Julian Smith and the government are lying…

mdi-timer 19 July 2018 @ 14:04 19 Jul 2018 @ 14:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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