Rape-Accused MP Will Be Able to Vote Tonight, Roberts and Warburton Will Not Be Getting Whip Back

Guido speculated out loud this morning whether the Tory MP arrested for rape would be able to vote in the leadership election – given he hasn’t had the whip withdrawn, just told to stay away from the estate. Proxy votes are available…

Guido’s now had it confirmed by the whips’ office that he will be able to vote, and only members without the whip will be precluded from participation. In other words, just Rob Roberts and David Warburton. 

It wasn’t long ago that Theresa May was stupid enough to give Charlie Elphicke the whip back so he could support her in the 2018 leadership election. The whips’ office has assured Guido that Roberts and Warburton will not be handed the same luxury this time around… 

mdi-timer 6 June 2022 @ 11:32 6 Jun 2022 @ 11:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Furious Tory MPs Still Waiting on Apology

Safe to say Tory MPs haven’t been this angry or depressed about the party’s decision making and leadership for a long time. The mood in parliament today is closer to that of a victim’s refuge than the home of democracy. One MP ranted to Guido, with agreement from another, that a 1922 Committee meeting should have been called for tonight with someone senior – Boris, Mark Spencer or Rees-Mogg – turning up to give a grovelling apology. When asked during a pool interview this morning if he’d apologise for the Paterson debacle, Boris merely said “I don’t think there is much more to be said about that particular case.” 

One MP grumbled that the only communication they’ve had from their whip was a demand to be in parliament today for a three line whip, and nothing by way of asking how they were coping with last week’s fall-out, nor how they were now feeling – despite pastoral care supposedly being a primary function of the government’s whipping operation in 2021. One MP noted how a year ago their whip had started calling them on a Saturday afternoon to catch up and ask how they were, however that’s long since stopped. Eyebrows were further raised when the MP vote breakdown on the Paterson motion came out, and three whips hadn’t voted. One MP claimed to Guido that theirs had been spotted at the Red Lion during the division. 

Meanwhile the anger isn’t just aimed at the whips. Over in the Tory “One Nation” WhatsApp chat group Tobias Ellwood shared his Sun op-ed, entitled “A PM who takes the Mother of Parliaments for granted will achieve nothing”. Presumably Ellwood was hoping for support, however one minister fired back:

“Tobias – I have just read your article. It is self centered [sic], unhelpful and without even a decent argument for reform.”

Another MP said most of the WhatsApp group wanted Tobias to “shut the f**k up”. Happy families…

mdi-timer 8 November 2021 @ 16:03 8 Nov 2021 @ 16:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Swerves Vote on New Genocide Amendment

There will be no vote today on the new Genocide Amendment today. Instead, Bob Neill’s Government-friendly amendment (with wording similar to what Tom Tugendhat had been discussing with the Government – leaving it to parliament rather than the courts to define genocide) will be brought forward. Using a complicated bundling manoeuvre involving a Labour amendment, the Government has taken the rebel amendment off the floor…

The genocide amendment camp are furious that their chance to vote on an updated and more constitutionally proper version that still lets courts decide where genocide is happening has been taken away. Iain Duncan Smith said in response:

“The Government has run out of arguments and is now using arcane procedural games which demean our democracy and the House of Commons. We should be allowed a straight vote.”

Sources organising the amendment effort have told Guido there is now “open warfare” within Tory ranks. Whips’ threats to new 2019 intake included the withholding of CCHQ funds and unfavourable boundary reforms. In response to taking away the vote today, sources tell Guido that the same amendment will be brought again in the Lords and pass “with an even greater majority“. Not a comfortable back and forth for the Government…

mdi-timer 9 February 2021 @ 12:00 9 Feb 2021 @ 12:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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
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