Douglas Carswell MP

26 Aug 2013 09:56:12

Bridgen, Wollaston and Stewart among the Tory MPs pushing for Parliament to have a say in any Syria action

By Peter Hoskin
Follow Peter on Twitter

It’s no surprise that Tory MPs are joining Douglas Alexander in seeking a recall of Parliament ahead of any military action in Syria. After all, 81 of them signed a letter to David Cameron in June, demanding a vote on any decision to dispatch British arms to the rebels.

And it’s also no surprise that the author of that letter, Andrew Bridgen, is among the most insistent voices this time around, now that missiles appear poised to strike at Assad. “We need to recall Parliament immediately, if that’s what’s on the table,” is how he put it on the radio yesterday. “I want to hear what the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary has to say at the despatch box.”

Continue reading "Bridgen, Wollaston and Stewart among the Tory MPs pushing for Parliament to have a say in any Syria action" »

17 Mar 2013 15:24:33

John Redwood and Douglas Carswell worry about banking panic after confiscation of Cyprus deposits

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

BFgqpVhCAAAoDzI.jpg-largeTory MPs have reacted with concern to the terms of a bailout of Cyprus' banks which will see up to 9.9% of depositors' money confiscated as part-payment for the rescue.

John Redwood has blogged that savers have been "mugged". The unexpected raid on depositors was, he continued, "a great way to encourage the mass migration of savings from weak banks in the Euro area to stronger banks somewhere else." Douglas Carswell agrees. The Clacton MP told the Mail on Sunday that "ordinary Europeans are being fleeced by the Continent’s elite in order to rescue foolish banks." "Why," he asked, "would you risk putting your money in Greek, Spanish or Portuguese banks after this?" ATMs of Cypriot banks have been emptied this weekend by anxious savers. UKIP's Nigel Farage called the bank levy "theft, pure and simple". Eurozone leaders have done little to reassure investors in other troubled parts of the single currency. The Times' Sam Coates Tweeted that Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of group of EZ ministers, "declined to rule out taxes on depositors in countries beyond Cyprus".

George Osborne, meanwhile, has said that British troops and other government workers serving in Cyprus will be compensated for the EU's extraordinary levy. He told BBC1 that for "people serving in our military and serving our government we are going to compensate anyone affected by this bank tax." The Chancellor also used the news to reinforce his argument that deficit reduction must continue. Cyprus was, he said, "an example of what happens if you don't show the world that you can pay your way".

> Our ToryDiary report of George Osborne's BBC1 interview.

7 Mar 2013 17:31:00

What Tory parliamentarians want to see in the Budget

By Peter Hoskin
Follow Peter on Twitter

With the Budget less than a couple of weeks away, I thought it would be a good time to collect some of the recommendations being put to George Osborne by Tory parliamentarians. Of course, the parliamentarians listed below may want other measures too – and there may be other parliamentarians who want what they want – but I’ve tried to go with the most prominent examples from the past few weeks. If you think I’ve missed anyone off, please do shout out in the comments section, or email me on pete @ (without the spaces).

Robert Halfon MP: The reinstatement of the 10p tax rate

RHRobert explained how and why he wants the 10p rate of income tax reinstated in a recent article for ConservativeHome. Here’s a snippet:

“When Labour brought in the 50p income tax-rate, it cost HMRC something like £7 billion pounds overnight, as people changed their behaviour to avoid the new tax. This year, the Coalition will cut that 50p income tax-rate down to 45p, because this is expected to raise more money from the rich, not less. The message of the campaign at — or, alternatively — is that we should use every extra penny raised from this to restore the 10p basic rate of income tax, to help lower earners. Added to the Universal Credit, this will help stop disincentives to employment, and to ensure that work always pays.”

He also discussed the policy on the Daily Politics today.

Continue reading "What Tory parliamentarians want to see in the Budget" »

1 Mar 2013 19:43:58

A round-up of how Tory MPs have reacted to the #Eastleigh election result

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

On ConHome Adam Afryie's Eastleigh reflection urged a focus on measures to boost economic growth. Read it here.

The best contribution I've seen so far came from Gavin Barwell. He urged a focus on rebuilding our ground operation and focusing on so-called pavement politics. Paul Goodman has also worried today about the decline of our grassroots strength.

Here's a collection of what some other Tory MPs have been saying in reaction to the Eastleigh by-election:

LAING EleanorEleanor Laing warned David Cameron against alienating more traditionalist supporters: “Loyalty is a two-way thing and the leadership of the Conservative Party asks for loyalty from our supporters but those supporters don’t feel that they’re getting loyalty back.” She continued: "In my own constituency, on the doorsteps in Eastleigh and generally people I talk to – they actually feel hurt and they feel left out. They are told they are old-fashioned and they think they don't matter and what they stand for and what they believe in doesn't matter. Those people who for decades have put their faith in the Conservative party – the only way to take forward those issues people really care about is to have a truly Conservative government. To do that, the leadership of my party has to tune in better to the people who want to support it, who want loyalty and who now feel rather left out." Quoted in The Guardian.

Here's what some MPs have been saying on Twitter:

  • Michael Fabricant called for more focus and more simplicity of message: "The Conservative voice is muffled and not crisp. It does not clearly project Conservative core policies or principles. / The Cons Party must now co-ordinate & simplify its message without policy distractions away from core principles. 26 months / Everyone from the PM downwards must focus on the economy, immigration, crime, Europe and not allow other side policies distract."
  • Stewart Jackson called for a focus on strivers: "#Eastleigh puts more pressure on George Osborne to deliver an authentic Conservative Middle England striver's Budget. Over to you George"
  • Douglas Carswell urged the Tory leadership to stop worrying about pundits: "Don't alienate base in return for pundit applause. Pundits don't have many votes / Win over base. Then reach out beynd."
  • Sarah Wollaston urges the party not to move Right: "The response to losing in #Eastleigh must not be a move to the right for the Tories. Poor result for Conservatives despite R wing candidate".
  • Nick de Bois urges focus on cost of living and economy: "Suspect constituents will remind me to urge gov to just focus on cost of living & jobs-not "left"not"right" not modernising,just the economy".

And I was glad to see some kind words from Claire Perry for Maria Hutchings:

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 19.42.40

I hope there'll be no briefing against a good lady.

24 Nov 2012 08:54:59

The 118 Tory MPs the Daily Mail lists as being opposed to gay marriage

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter.

The Daily Mail this morning reports on the 118 Conservative MPs who have written to constituents indicating their opposition to gay marriage proposals. The Mail says "Their opposition has been expressed in letters and emails sent to constituents who have contacted them with their own concerns", and points out that if these MPs voted against proposals, it would constitute the biggest Tory rebellion in modern times. However, Equalities Minister (and Secretary of State for Culture) Maria Miller pointed out on Twitter that since any vote on the issue would be a free vote, it would not technically be counted as a rebellion.

I have listed the MPs from the Mail's story below.

  1. Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty)
  2. Peter Aldous (Waveney)
  3. Tony Baldry (Banbury)
  4. Guto Bebb (Aberconwy)
  5. Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk)
  6. Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley)
  7. Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen)
  8. Andrew Bingham (High Peak)
  9. Brian Binley (Northampton South)
  10. Bob Blackman (Harrow East)
  11. Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon)
  12. Peter Bone (Wellingborough)
  13. Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)
  14. Julian Brazier (Canterbury)
  15. Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire)
  16. Steve Brine (Winchester)
  17. Fiona Bruce (Congleton)
  18. Robert Buckland (South Swindon)
  19. Conor Burns (Bournemouth West)*
  20. Simon Burns (Chelmsford)
  21. David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate)
  22. Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan)
  23. Douglas Carswell (Clacton)
  24. William Cash (Stone)
  25. Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham)
  26. Christopher Chope (Christchurch)
  27. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)
  28. Therese Coffey (Suffolk Coastal)
  29. Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon)
  30. Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)
  31. David Davies (Monmouth)
  32. Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)
  33. Philip Davies (Shipley)
  34. David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden)
  35. Nick de Bois (Enfield North)
  36. Caroline Dinenage (Gosport)
  37. Richard Drax (South Dorset)
  38. Charlie Elphicke (Dover)
  39. Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North)
  40. David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)
  41. George Freeman (Mid Norfolk)
  42. Richard Fuller (Bedford)
  43. Roger Gale (North Thanet)
  44. Edward Garnier (Harborough)
  45. John Glen (Salisbury)
  46. Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)
  47. Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby)
  48. Robert Halfon (Harlow)
  49. Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge)
  50. John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings)
  51. Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
  52. George Hollingbery (Meon Valley)
  53. Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
  54. Adam Holloway (Gravesham)
  55. Gerald Howarth (Aldershot)
  56. Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)
  57. Gareth Johnson (Dartford)
  58. David Jones (Clwyd West)
  59. Marcus Jones (Nuneaton)
  60. Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest)
  61. Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire)
  62. Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire)
  63. Philip Lee (Bracknell)
  64. Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
  65. Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)
  66. Julian Lewis (New Forest East)
  67. Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset)
  68. Peter Lilley (Hitchen and Harpenden)
  69. Jonathan Lord (Woking)
  70. Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)
  71. Anne Main (St Albans)
  72. Paul Maynard (Blackpool North and Cleveleys)
  73. Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)
  74. Karl McCartney (Lincoln)
  75. Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton)
  76. Stephen McPartland (Stevenage)
  77. Esther McVey (Wirral West)
  78. Steve Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)
  79. Nicky Morgan (Loughborough)
  80. David Nuttall (Bury North)
  81. Matthew Offord (Hendon)
  82. Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)
  83. Priti Patel (Witham)
  84. Owen Paterson (North Shropshire)
  85. Mark Pawsey (Rugby)
  86. Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead)
  87. Christopher Pincher (Tamworth)
  88. Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)
  89. John Redwood (Wokingham)
  90. Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset)
  91. Simon Reevell (Dewsbury)
  92. Andrew Robathan (South Leicestershire)
  93. Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
  94. Andrew Rosindell (Romford)
  95. David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds)
  96. David Rutley (Macclesfield)
  97. Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)
  98. Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)
  99. Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)
  100. Henry Smith (Crawley)
  101. John Stevenson (Carlisle)
  102. Bob Stewart (Beckenham)
  103. Gary Streeter (South West Devon)
  104. Mel Stride (Central Devon)
  105. Robert Syms (Poole)
  106. David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
  107. Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
  108. Andrew Tyrie (Chichester)
  109. Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West)
  110. Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes)
  111. Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North)
  112. Robert Walter (North Dorset)
  113. James Wharton (Stockton South)
  114. Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley)
  115. John Whittingdale (Maldon)
  116. Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)
  117. Gavin Williamson (South Staffordshire)
  118. Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam)
* Conor Burns has stated that he will not be voting against gay marriage but may abstain.

22 Nov 2012 17:13:46

The Government is simply perpetuating the status quo in economic policy and on Whitehall, argues Douglas Carswell MP

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter.

CARSWELL DOUGLASDouglas Carswell MP has launched an attack on the Government's policies because, he says, they simply perpetutate the status quo. Writing for Prospect magazine, Mr Carswell first attacks the economic policy he often likes to label "continuity Brown": 

"Far from trying anything bold or different, we have ended up with Continuity Brown, the macroeconomic setting virtually unchanged from when Gordon was at the helm. During the five years of this parliament the government will borrow more than Gordon Brown managed in 13 years. Just like under Brown, the Treasury has looked to monetary stimulus to produce growth, but ignored supply-side reform. “Unfunded” tax cuts continue to be ruled out, yet “unfunded” borrowing never seems to be."

One of Mr Carswell's causes in parliament has been the introduction of more localist and democratic methods to British politics - by championing the "recall" measure, for example, which would allow voters to kick out MPs they deem to have acted improperly during the parliamentary term. Mr Carswell is disappointed with the lack of progress on these issues:

"The idea of open primaries, whereby candidates to become MP would be chosen locally, rather than being imposed from outside, and which would have made MPs properly answerable to the electorate, has been quietly dropped. The proposal for a mechanism to allow the recall of MPs has been so mangled that if it goes ahead it will actually strengthen, rather than weaken, the executive’s control over parliament. ... Despite all the lip service paid to localism by the government, what has actually changed? Local councils have even less control over their finances than they did previously."

Continue reading "The Government is simply perpetuating the status quo in economic policy and on Whitehall, argues Douglas Carswell MP" »

4 Sep 2012 16:03:59

Conservative MPs react positively to the reshuffle

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter.

Since details of the reshuffle have emerged, Tory MPs, especially on the right of the party, have been reacting positively to David Cameron's appointments.

LAWSON NIGEL TODAYLord Lawson was pleased with the reshuffle:

"I am on the whole very pleased with what has been done. There's another purpose why you need reshuffles. There is always a need to curb public spending and ministers become attached to their departmental budgets and therefore the Treasury needs to have new ministers who will look at their departmental budgets with fresh eyes and find ways of further savings and that is particularly necessary at the present time."

He had specific praise for Owen Paterson's promotion:

"I am very pleased to see in this reshuffle the promotion of Owen Paterson. Owen Paterson is little known to the British public because he has been Northern Ireland Secretary, so he is well known there, but really little known elsewhere. He is in fact one of the most able and promising young men or women around the Cabinet and therefore his promotion to Environment is extremely welcome….he is a man of reason and sense."

Bridgen AndrewAndrew Bridgen said the reshuffle was more wide-ranging than many Tories had expected:

"I think the reaction from the backbenches is that this reshuffle is quite a lot more extensive than we actually predicted. So it is far more radical. But at the end of the day, these reshuffles are of great interest for those of us in the Westminster bubble and the media out there, but I think the people, your viewers, are really interested in policy, not necessarily personality, and it’s about reinvigorating the Government and pushing those policies forward to deliver economic growth that’s going to get the country out of recession."

Continue reading "Conservative MPs react positively to the reshuffle" »

2 Jul 2012 20:18:25

34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express "serious concerns" about plain tobacco packaging

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter.

Lansley2On Friday, 50 MPs, including 34 Conservatives, wrote a letter to the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, expressing their "serious concerns" with the Department of Health’s proposal to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.

The letter stated that:

"There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit; no country in the world has yet to introduce it. However, such a measure could have extremely negative consequences elsewhere. The proposal will be a smuggler’s charter. ... this policy threatens more than 5,500 jobs directly employed by the UK tobacco sector, and over 65,000 valued jobs in the associated supply chain. ... Given the continued difficult economic climate, businesses should not be subjected to further red tape and regulation"

The signatories of the letter also expressed concern about the freedom aspect of blocking any branding of tobacco products:

"...we believe products must be afforded certain basic commercial freedoms. The forcible removal of branding would infringe fundamental legal rights, severely damage principles around intellectual property and set a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech. Indeed, if the Department of Health were to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products, would it also do the same for alcohol, fast food, chocolate and all other products deemed unhealthy for us?"

Continue reading "34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express "serious concerns" about plain tobacco packaging" »

14 May 2012 12:07:22

The People's Pledge announce shortlist of 39 constituencies for new European referendums

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter.

4pm update: People's Pledge sources tells me that Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot has come out in support of a referendum

Mike Freer, the MP for Finchley and Golders Green, has also backed a referendum. This is significant because Freer was not one of the 81 rebels, but has now come round to the view that Britain should have an in/out European referendum. 

These two new additions to the list of MPs supporting the People's Pledge means 68 MPs - from several parties - back a referendum. 


PeoplesPledge2Following on from their successful referendum campaign in Thurrock - turnout was higher than in the recent local elections - The People's Pledge campaign have announced further referendums, to be held in 3 contiguous seats. The campaign has announced a shortlist of 39 seats, grouped in 13 contiguous triples, from different regions, from which one triplet will be chosen in the next few days, with a polling date set for late July.

Continue reading "The People's Pledge announce shortlist of 39 constituencies for new European referendums" »

8 May 2012 13:03:56

The 2010-12 parliamentary session was the most rebellious on record

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter

Screen shot 2010-06-16 at 18.02.09Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart of the University of Nottingham have released a new pamplet - "The Bumper Book of Coalition Rebellions", which documents the 239  backbench rebellions so far in this Parliament, in which 544 votes have been held. 

The pamplet takes us from the first rebellion, on the government’s control of time in the Commons, to the last, on Sunday Trading during the Olympics. This Parliament has seen more rebellions by government MPs than in any other session in the post-war era. As "The Bumper Book" says, "It comfortably beats the previous record of 128, held by Conservative MPs in the 1971-72 session. Indeed, a figure of 239 is higher than all but three entire post-war parliaments."

In fact, there were more rebellions in the last two years than there were between 1945 and 1966 - a period which saw six Prime Ministers and six parliaments. On a different measure, the "relative rate of rebellion", this session's 239 rebellions constitute a rebellion by Coalition MPs in 44% of divisions, which is a record in post-war parliaments. The 44% figure can be broken down further: Conservative MPs have rebelled in 28% of votes, while Lib Dems have rebelled in 24% of votes.

It is also notable how much of a contrast there is between the 2010-12 session and most first sessions in a parliament. As the pamplet says: "The rebellion rate for coalition MPs collectively is way above all other first sessions in the post-war era (the previous record was 28%, for Labour MPs in the 2005-6 session, as the party entered its third, and most troublesome, parliament under Tony Blair)".

Continue reading "The 2010-12 parliamentary session was the most rebellious on record" »

4 May 2012 06:14:38

What is the Cornerstone group? Matthew Barrett profiles the socially conservative Tory backbench group

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter

My series profiling the backbench groups of Tory MPs has so far mainly featured groups founded or mostly composed of 2010 intake MPs. Last time, I looked at the Thatcherite No Turning Back group, founded in the 1980s. This week's group is somewhere between the two. The Cornerstone Group is the main group whose defining mission is to represent socially conservative Members of Parliament. The group was formed in 2005, and presented some challenges for David Cameron's leadership. In this profile, I'll see how the group is doing now.

Origins of the group

HayesLeighCornerstone was founded by Edward Leigh and John Hayes, who still chair the group. Leigh has been the MP for Gainsborough since 1983, and is a former Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry, who was sacked for his opposition to Maastricht, and John Hayes, who has been the MP for South Holland and the Deepings since 1997, and the Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning since 2010.

Cornerstone admired the work done during Iain Duncan Smith's time as leader to promote a more communitarian, Burkean conservatism, and wanted to ensure IDS' work on this front was carried on.

When the group launched formally in July 2005, it released a pamphlet, which criticised Michael Howard's election campaign for being too quiet about tax cuts, public service reform and family values. Strongly condemning the personality politics and liberalism of New Labour, Leigh wrote:

"We believe that these values must be stressed: tradition, nation, family, religious ethics, free enterprise ... Emulating New Labour both lacks authenticity and is unlikely to make us popular. We must seize the centre ground and pull it kicking and screaming towards us. That is the only way to demolish the foundations of the liberal establishment and demonstrate to the electorate the fundamental flaws on which it is based."

The group first exerted its influence during the 2005 leadership contest. A group of about twenty Cornerstone supporters interviewed David Cameron, David Davis and Liam Fox. Fox apparently put in the best performance, while David Davis was, reportedly, not able to take criticism well. This meeting, combined with David Davis' alienating stint as the Minister for Europe under Major, and Davis' reluctance to support Iain Duncan Smith's compassionate conservatism programme wholeheartedly, is thought to be why many Cornerstone supporters first voted for Fox, and then switched to Cameron.

Continue reading "What is the Cornerstone group? Matthew Barrett profiles the socially conservative Tory backbench group" »

22 Apr 2012 09:17:11

7 out of 10 victory for Douglas Carswell v David Cameron in battle of Conservative brands

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

ScanDouglas Carswell recently claimed on ConservativeHome that his "small state" brand of Tory politics was more potent than David Cameron's "wind turbine" variety. The Mail on Sunday has followed up on the slapdown that David Cameron gave to Mr Carswell at last Wednesday's PMQs by commissioning a special opinion poll from the Survation organisation to evaluate whether the Clacton MP's brand of Conservatism is indeed more popular than the PM's brand.

Mr Carswell wins on 7 of the 10 propositions that Survation tested.

69%, for example, agree with Carswell that "a straight In/Out referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU". Only 31% agree with Cameron's belief that there should only be a referendum "if more powers are to be transferred from the UK to the EU". Carswell also wins, among other causes, on EU bailouts, immigration caps, longer prison sentences for hardened criminals and the power to recall errant MPs mid-term. Voters give Cameron the advantage on the pace of spending cuts and the scale of cutbacks in red tape. See full results at Survation.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday (scroll down this page) Mr Carswell takes the opportunity of another moment in the sun to complain about the pace of change across Whitehall:

"Several Ministers have complained to me that every time they want to get anything changed, their own departments put more effort into explaining why it cannot be done rather than making it happen. It must be maddening to have all those Sir Humphreys quash your proposals for change. It must be infuriating to see the pace of change slowed by permanent officials who, unlike MPs, will not have to face the electorate in 2015. And it is no doubt even more galling to have this pointed out to you on the floor of the House."

27 Mar 2012 15:18:15

Seven Conservative MPs cited as having abstained on child benefit vote

By Paul Goodman
Follow Paul on Twitter

If Labour's failure to vote against the 50p rate cut they've criticised was yesterday evening's Commons farce, a small number of Conservative MPs helped to provide the serious fare.

Graham Brady, Douglas Carswell, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Edward Leigh, David Nuttall and John Stanley - voted in favour of the budget, but have also been listed as having abstained on a specific later vote on child benefit.

The proposed removal of the payment from 40p rate taxpayers was watered down in the budget, but not enough for some backbenchers, evidently.

Chope has been forceful on the matter recently, holding a debate in Westminster Hall.  Sir John Stanley accounced this week that he is leaving will leave the Commons at the next election.

Cautionary note: counting absentions is a tricky business, since the absence of an MP from the division lists can mean that he's abroad, or has been slipped, or has simply missed the vote.

Hat-tip: Sky's Sophie Ridge

18 Mar 2012 08:41:54

Tory MP Claire Perry reportedly told Douglas Carswell to "f*** off and join UKIP"

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

I wonder if more loyal backbench Tory MPs are getting a little fed up with their more rebellious colleagues?

A couple of weeks ago Conor Burns, PPS to the Northern Ireland Secretary, tweeted his irritation at Peter Bone:

Screen Shot 2012-03-18 at 08.30.07

Now we learn from the Mail on Sunday that Douglas Carswell was apparently told by Claire Perry MP to "f*** off and join UKIP". The newspaper reports:

"Claire Perry is said to have directed the four-letter tirade at well-known Tory Eurosceptic MP Douglas Carswell during a Commons debate. Friends of Mr Carswell say he was outraged at Ms Perry’s alleged verbal onslaught last week. Two Tory MPs present in the Commons say they heard Ms Perry make the comment and insist it was aimed at Mr Carswell."

Claire Perry is one of the Chancellor's staunchest allies and Douglas Carswell as been one of the Chancellor's biggest critics, referring to Mr Osborne as "Continuity Brown" in a series of interviews and blogs. "Under the Coalition macroeconomic policy has remained fundamentally unchanged from what was going on under Gordon Brown," Carswell wrote.

The Mail on Sunday suggests there is a "Giddy's Gang"* of loyalists to the Chancellor. They include Ms Perry, Matt Hancock, Greg Hands, Sajid Javid, Philip Hammond and Justine Greening.

* George Osborne's first name is actually Gideon.

20 Jan 2012 07:24:52

"Sir Humphrey" recall proposals for MPs slammed by Douglas Carswell and Zac Goldsmith

By Joseph Willits 
Follow Joseph on Twitter

Both Douglas Carswell and Zac Goldsmith condemned Government proposals yesterday for the recall of MPs for wrongdoing when they appeared before the Commons's political and constitutional reform committee. The plans would mean that if over 10% of constituents signed a petition calling for a by-election, an MP could be recalled providing they had spent less than twelve months in prison or if the Commons' disciplinary committee recommends that a petition takes place.

However, a committee of MPs would be given the power to define what constitutes a recall. Goldsmith suggested that this could lead to unfair outcomes, given that other MPs were making the decision to recall another member:

Goldsmith"You could be the world's worst ever MP without breaking a single thing in the (MPs) code (of conduct) because it relates to financial things. Or vice-versa, you could by accident break one of those codes - not registering a bottle of wine given to you by a friendly constituent for example - which could be a genuine error. But that might be an excuse for the committee to qualify you for recall because you might be a unpleasant character and not popular in the House."

Carswell likened the proposals to something that Sir Humphrey would have come up with. MPs he said, would not be accountable to the people, but rather to other MPs:

"Sir Humphrey Appleby came up with a system that Sir Humphrey Appleby would perhaps like, which is to keep the people at bay and ministers seem to have gone along with it ... I think it is deeply and deliberately flawed. Instead of doing what recall should do, which is make all of us more outwardly accountable to the people, I think it will make us inwardly accountable to Westminster grandees."

Continue reading ""Sir Humphrey" recall proposals for MPs slammed by Douglas Carswell and Zac Goldsmith" »