Blue on Blue Row as Bridgen Compares Vaccines to Holocaust

A blue-on-blue row has broken out as Tory MP Simon Clarke slams fellow Tory MP Andrew Bridgen over his decision to take up the anti-vax mantle in parliament. Despite his Commons suspension this week, he’s continued tweeted about vaccines, this morning taking his attacks a step further and accusing the vaccine rollout of being the “biggest crime against humanity since the holocaust”.

Former Tory MP Christian Wakeford also joined in, saying to make such a comparison during the month of Holocaust Memorial Day “is despicable” and asksWhen is it enough for the Tories to withdraw the whip?”

No.10 tells Tom Harwood that the PM hasn’t seen the tweet in question, and “any disciplinary processes are a matter for the whips”. The Whips office are keeping schtum for the moment…

mdi-timer 11 January 2023 @ 10:52 11 Jan 2023 @ 10:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory Fracking Rebels Wait for Discipline as Whipping Operation Goes AWOL

The dust is still settling on last night’s jaw-dropping Commons scenes. Among all the chaos and confusion the Westminster Bubble is still deeply confused about whether last night was a confidence motion or not. If it was downgraded to merely a typical three-line whip, as No. 10 seemed to brief Graham Stuart, then rebels could expect a slap on the wrist; Cabinet Ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Anne-Marie Trevelyn however seemed to reinforce that it was a confidence motion, as did No. 10’s late-night Whatsapp to the Lobby threatening:

“Those without a reasonable excuse for failing to vote with the government can expect proportionate disciplinary action.”

Guido’s talked to four rebels who have confirmed they weren’t slipped, however still haven’t been contacted by the whips. The list of full-on rebels is difficult to disentangle from those senior MPs and ministers who were slipped, however Guido will give it a go:

  • Nigel Adams – likely slipped
  • Gareth Bacon – likely slipped
  • Siobhan Baillie – likely unslipped
  • Greg Clark – likely slipped
  • Geoffrey Cox – likely slipped
  • Tracey Crouch – likely unslipped
  • David Davis – likely slipped
  • Caroline Dinenage – likely slipped
  • Nadine Dorries – likely slipped
  • Philip Dunne – likely unslipped
  • Mark Fletcher – likely unslipped
  • Vicky Ford – likely slipped
  • Paul Holmes – likely slipped
  • Alister Jack – likely slipped
  • Boris Johnson – likely slipped
  • Gillian Keegan – likely slipped
  • Kwasi Kwarteng – likely slipped
  • Robert Largan – likely unslipped
  • Pauline Latham – likely unslipped
  • Mark Logan – likely slipped
  • Theresa May – likely slipped
  • Priti Patel – likely slipped
  • Mark Pawsey – likely unslipped
  • Angela Richardson – likely unslipped
  • Andrew Rosindell – likely slipped
  • Bob Seely – likely unslipped
  • Alok Sharma – likely slipped
  • Chris Skidmore – likely unslipped
  • Henry Smith – likely unslipped
  • Ben Wallace – likely slipped
  • John Whittingdale – likely slipped
  • William Wragg – likely unslipped
  • Jeremy Wright – likely slipped

Guido will be staying in contact with his known rebel sources to see whether No. 10 decides to withdraw the whip from up to 13 of their own MPs…

mdi-timer 20 October 2022 @ 09:29 20 Oct 2022 @ 09:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Chris Pincher Resigns as Deputy Chief Whip Over Drunken Carlton Club Assault

The Sun has this evening forced the resignation of deputy chief whip Chris Pincher after he assaulted two guests during a late-night drinking session at the Carlton Club. According to the paper “several alarmed Tory MPs got in contact with the Tory whips office to complain about his behaviour”. This is the second time he’s had to resign from the whips’ office, having only been promoted to deputy in February.

In his resignation letter, Pincher confesses “last night I drank far too much. I’ve embarrassed myself and other people”.

Two big vacancies for the PM to fill now following the resignation of Dowden – there’ll surely have to be at least a mini-reshuffle before the Summer recess…

UPDATE: A website post from MP Theresa Villiers confirms Pincher had gone to the Carlton Club for a ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ drinks reception. Guido’s told the event wrapped up around 9 pm.

UPDATE II: Guido understands that while Pincher did attend the ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ reception, the alleged incidents took place after the event wrapped up.

mdi-timer 30 June 2022 @ 19:58 30 Jun 2022 @ 19:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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
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