Nadine Dorries MP

8 May 2013 17:58:05

She's back! But the Whips stress that the restored Nadine Dorries has apologised. And there's talk of her being set "targets"

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By Paul Goodman

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Coffee House's Isabel Hardman has the news of Nadine Dorries's return, and has penned a passionate defence of her position, arguing that Dorries is the victim of double standards, and that she is very popular with her colleagues.

On the first ground, Isabel is right.  She points out that Brian Binley has called the Prime Minister a ‘chambermaid’ and a ‘caretaker’, and Tim Yeo has asked whether Cameron is a man or a mouse.

I am less sure about the second.  Very few MPs are universally popular among their colleagues, and I wouldn't mark Dorries down as one of them.

None the less, popularity among Conservative MPs isn't and shouldn't be the basis upon which the Whip is granted or withheld.

So why, given the resistance from George Osborne that Tim Montgomerie referred to earlier this week on this site, has the Whip been restored?  I suspect there are three reasons:

  • The sense among many Tory backbenchers, whether they like Dorries or not, that her semi-permanent suspension was unjust.  (And that if it could be applied to her, it might one day be applied to them...)
  • The speculation about Dorries defecting to UKIP.  She has been very clear that she is a Conservative, and wants to stay a Conservative.  But those senior Tories who think it's better to have her inside the tent will have been unnerved by the rumours.
  • The emergence of the appeals procedure.  Dorries would have had the right of appeal to a tribunal of three people appointed by the Chairman of the '22 and the Chief Whip.  The role of the former will have made some in Downing Street a bit nervous.

At any rate, this is the right decision, for the reasons I set out over the weekend. Dorries is a gut Tory, a net asset to the Party, and a courageous Parliamentary campaigner - besides adding to the gaiety of nations.

The Whips are naturally keen to claim that they're not backing down, and a statement has been issued saying that Dorries has "apologised to the Chief Whip for absenting herself from her parliamentary duties without permission".  One senior source spoke of her being set "targets".

At any rate - welcome back, Nadine.

6.45pm Update Dorries tweets that "my whip has been restored with no conditions other than those which apply to any party MP".  And my source texts to explain that the targets "are not forward-looking, but was a word used about our expectations from last autumn about her rebuilding bridges with her constituents/association/parliamentary colleagues". Hmm.

P.S: Someone is very keen to make his view on all this very clear.  See below...

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7 May 2013 08:12:00

Nadine Dorries ready to appeal to 1922 Committee and overturn her suspension from parliamentary party

By Tim Montgomerie
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Dorries March 2012There has been lots of speculation over recent days about the future of Nadine Dorries. Some have speculated that she might join UKIP in protest at the fact that the whip still hasn't be restored to her - six months after it was suspended because she appeared on ITV's I Am A Celebrity programme. ConHome's sources say the whips are NOT the reason for her continuing exclusion from the parliamentary party. The block is coming from Downing Street - especially Number 11. Regular observers of Tory politics will know that the Chancellor and Nadine Dorries do not have the best of relationships.

Up until now it has been thought that the decision about Nadine Dorries' future was one for the party leadership and it had the power to continue to resist lobbying by the 1922 Committee for Ms Dorries' return to the Tory fold. Today's Times, however, draws attention to a parliamentary party rule that was instituted after Howard Flight was effectively removed from the parliamentary party by a very angry Michael Howard, then Tory leader, in the run up to the 2005 election. Tory MPs were so appalled that Mr Howard had the power to expel one of their colleagues without any appeal that they sought a new mechanism to prevent a repeat of the Flight case.

The rule means that Ms Dorries can appear before a tribunal of three people - appointed by the Chief Whip and Chairman of the 1922 - and have her case for restoration of the whip examined. She can only trigger the tribunal next November, however - six months before the date of the general election. Some in the whips office are wanting the matter resolved now, however. Their fear is a much longer delay to this episode risks looking sexist and even vindictive. The Tory leadership may not love Ms Dorries - in much the same way they don't much love many of the more 'Ukippy' Tory members - but keeping her in the tent is a small way of indicating that the party can be broadly-based.

More in The Times (£).

Paul Goodman has already made the case for an end to Nadine Dorries' suspension.

22 Dec 2012 11:12:39

Conservatives dominate the top 20 most mentioned politicians of 2012

By Matthew Barrett
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The annual newspaper index report by Hanover Communications into media coverage of MPs shows that 12 of the top 20 most-mentioned politicians are Conservatives. The index, which measures newspaper coverage over the last year, shows few Labour frontbenchers have media profiles, with only Ed Balls and Ed Miliband featuring in the list.

I list below the top twenty politicians and the number of mentions they received:

  • David Cameron - 18384
  • George Osborne - 9531
  • Ed Miliband - 6211
  • Nick Clegg - 6155
  • Boris Johnson - 3320
  • Michael Gove - 2844
  • Tony Blair - 2694
  • Gordon Brown - 2387
  • Ed Balls - 2201
  • Vincent Cable - 2061
  • Theresa May - 1743
  • Andrew Lansley - 1621
  • William Hague - 1580
  • Jeremy Hunt - 1525
  • John Major - 960
  • Ken Livingstone - 861
  • Andrew Mitchell - 858
  • Nadine Dorries - 857
  • Iain Duncan Smith - 857
  • Ed Davey - 823

Continue reading "Conservatives dominate the top 20 most mentioned politicians of 2012" »

27 Nov 2012 08:19:33

Most Tory members do not see Nadine Dorries as asset to party but view expulsion as overkill

6pm: Nadine Dorries met the Chief Whip earlier today but the meeting was inconclusive. The two will meet again in a week to review the situation. This suggests to me that the party is slightly anxious about the consequences of expelling the jungle rebel. Today, immediately after her controversial experience downunder, would have been the decisive moment to have acted against her. Her many internal critics have decided not to strike. Nadine Dorries' criticism of David Cameron in Saturday's Sun, of Andrew Mitchell and her generally unrepetant tone also made it impossible for allies in the Whips Office to simply forgive her behaviour and restore her status in the parliamentary party. The ball is squarely in Nadine's court. Does she want to become more of a team player? Can she solidify her position within her home Tory association? Is she willing to use her considerable new fame to advance Tory causes or to join UKIP and split the Eurosceptic vote? Those are questions that only she can answer.


By Tim Montgomerie
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Nadine Dorries is due to meet the Chief Whip Sir George Young MP at 10.30am this morning to learn if she will have the Tory whip restored to her. The Sun is reporting that it is "unlikely". Tom Newton Dunn, the newspaper's political editor, writes:

"Unless she grovels and apologises fully for skipping Britain, she’ll be ejected from the party for good, senior sources said. Even if she repents, the offence she caused may be judged so grave that she may STILL get the boot."

Writing for ConHome on Sunday she was offering zero signs of repentance. "I have not a shred of regret," she wrote and "I would do the same thing again tomorrow." She even boasted that her "suspension has resulted in making me, outside of the obvious big players, the best known MP in Parliament."

In the snap poll we carried out yesterday afternoon of Tory members (see main UKIP-related results over at the ToryDiary) 72% thought she should keep the whip. Only 44% thought she was an asset to the party, however. 56% did not think she was an asset.

We will update this blog when we have more news.

22 Nov 2012 08:03:47

Nadine Dorries won't like it but poll finds that David Cameron is much more popular than her in her own constituency

By Tim Montgomerie
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Over on Comment Lord Ashcroft has written about a poll that he commissioned in Nadine Dorries MP's Mid-Beds constituency. It coincides with her eviction (video) from I'm A Celebrity - at the end of last night's programme.

Here are some of the key findings of a poll of 1,500 adults, conducted from 14th to 18th November:

51% would vote Conservative in an election held tomorrow (that's down just 2% on the last general election). Labour are up 7% to 22%. Lib Dems down 13% to 12%. UKIP are up 3% to 8%.

On a scale of zero (very negative feelings) to ten (very positive feelings) Nadine Dorries scored just 2.82. She won't like the fact that "posh boy" David Cameron is much more popular than her:

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Overall 35% think she's been a good MP for Mid Beds. 35% do not.

16% approve of Nadine Dorries going into the jungle but 58% disapprove.

8% say her decision has made them MORE likely to vote for Nadine Dorries. 44% say it's made them LESS likely. 48% say it's made no difference.

58% agree that "DC was right to suspend ND from the Conservative Party when he found out she would not be in Westminster to do her job". 64% of Tory voters agree with the PM's decision.

Comments on this thread are closed. Please comment beneath Lord Ashcroft's piece so we have just one thread on the opinion poll.

6 Nov 2012 13:59:24

The culture change for MPs is not Nadine Dorries's friend, but her enemy

By Paul Goodman
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Until fairly recently, An MP was a citizen legislator, legislating and debating and representing while also working at his business, not a professional politician doing a job. But over the past 30 years or so, private finance has gradually been replaced by taxpayer funding, and the clash of interests replaced by a gathering consensus among politicians.  Unsuprisingly, it is one that seeks at the least to preserve the size and scope of the state, since he who pays the piper inevitably calls the tune.  This change has produced some good side-effects - the present generation of professional politicians works harder for their constituents than the previous one of citizen legislators did.

But, on the whole, gradually blunting the clash of interests at Westminster has been a loss for voters, which is why, for what it's worth, I left the Commons. These abstract thoughts have a concrete application to Nadine Dorries's planned departure for Australia for "I'm a Celebrity".  Not so long ago, her electorate wouldn't have known about her leaving the country for perhaps the best part of a month, and a large part of it perhaps wouldn't have minded that much.  Not any more.  MPs are increasingly seen as professional politicians - viewed as doing a job.

Continue reading "The culture change for MPs is not Nadine Dorries's friend, but her enemy" »

6 Nov 2012 08:30:20

About to appear on ITV1's 'I'm A Celebrity', Nadine Dorries MP is about to become one of Britain's best known Tory MPs

By Tim Montgomerie
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It's been revealed this morning that Tory MP Nadine Dorries will be one of the guests on ITV's I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here from Sunday night. For a reported fee of up to £40,000 she'll spend up to a month in a Australian jungle undertaking various eating and physical endurance tests. The "Bush Tucker Eating Trials" include eating roasted tarantulas, kangaroo testicles, crocodile penis, raw fish eyes, blended rats and mice tails. On previous shows the physical tests have included searching through dung. The celebrity contestants are evicted one-at-a-time in a series of votes by ITV viewers until there is only one winner left. Carol Thatcher, Lady Thatcher's daughter, won the 2005 series.

Critics have already piled in, noting that Nadine's incommunicado status in an Australian jungle will mean that she won't be able to look after her constituents' interests in parliament for the best part of a month...

  • The TaxPayers' Alliance complains: “While she is being a Z-list celebrity, her constituents will be without an MP.”
  • The Sun's Political Editor Tom Newton wonders if Sir George Young, the new Chief Whip, gave her permission. The answer to that is 'no'. He asks: "If not, can he really allow her to keep the Tory whip?"
  • Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy MP Tweeted that "unless @NadineDorriesMP has signed an unbreakable contract I assume constituents response wl mean she'll cancel."
  • Louise Mensch - Nadine's old adversary - has commented. "Just imagining the scene in the whips' office if I said I wanted to skip Parliament for weeks to go on a celebrity TV show," she Tweeted, and continued: "Perhaps whilst in the Jungle Nadine could be set the task of finding the plot. #lostforever". Ouch.

Continue reading "About to appear on ITV1's 'I'm A Celebrity', Nadine Dorries MP is about to become one of Britain's best known Tory MPs" »

4 Sep 2012 16:03:59

Conservative MPs react positively to the reshuffle

By Matthew Barrett
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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" »

13 Jul 2012 07:01:42 names best MPs on Twitter (including Nadine Dorries and Louise Mensch) and shames the worst

By Tim Montgomerie
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Dorries Nadine HIGNFYThe website has named Nadine Dorries MP as the best MP on Twitter. The website's Ian Dunt recommends following the Tory MP for Mid-Bedfordshire for representing the Tory right and for her general outspoken-ness. He also commends her humanity:

"There is a disarmingly charming side, where Dorries offers warm, kind hearted messages to friends and enemies alike. Suddenly she becomes cheeky, fun and very human – probably the most natural and unselfconscious of all MPs online. It is a baffling combination of characteristics from a complex political figure. It makes her the best MP on Twitter."

The only other Tory MP in the top ten is Louise Mensch, at number 7.

Unfortunately, Conservatives dominate the list of ten worst MPs on Twitter. Phillip Lee, Mark Garnier, James Morris, Stuart Andrew, Jeremy Lefroy, Damian Hinds, Brandon Lewis and Steve Brine all feature.

Lee PhilipIan Dunt doesn't hold back in his criticism of these MPs. This is his verdict on Dr Phillip Lee:

"It's difficult to imagine a mind so broken it could bear to read the tweets of Dr Phillip Lee, although some must exist, because he sports over 600 followers. His messages are commendably constituency-based, but they are so grey it is hard to finish them without falling into a catatonic state of despair. "Today met with BT senior executives to discuss broadband in Bracknell constituency," he tweets. And then: "My regular walkabouts through the constituency are a great way to meet local residents." Siri probably has a more distracting social life."

And on Stuart Andrew...

"Stuart Andrew's Euro 2012 quarter finals tweets were spectacularly misjudged, even by the standards of the dangerous pub/sport/tweet axis. "No updates until it's over!!!" he wrote at one point. Note the idiotic use of exclamation marks. Moments later: "Except for that one!!!!!" Then, despite the previous promise: "How disappointing!" And finally, a eurosceptic pun barely worthy of the name: "As I've always thought...better off out of the Euro!!" Of course, the tragedy of Andrew's Twitter feed is not always so rampant, but the common themes are there: banality, predictability, intellectual failure."

6 Jul 2012 15:05:03

Backbench Tories irked by Lib Dem threats over Lords reform

By Matthew Barrett
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Since the interview with a recently-departed senior Nick Clegg aide, Richard Reeves, in this morning's newspapers, which intimated there would be consequences for the Government's boundary review if backbench Tories vote against stopping debate on Lords reform, a number of Tory MPs have appeared in the media to express their thoughts - from frustration to amusement - at the Lib Dems' threats.

Dan Byles - Parliamentary Candidate for North Warwickshire & Bedworth1Firstly, Dan Byles (North Warwickshire) on BBC Five Live, expressed his disappointment that the vote next week will be whipped:

"The idea that a fundamental and irreversible constitutional change should be pushed through with the usual whipping and guillotining that happens on more routine bills is just unthinkable. Coalition policy was to seek a consensus on House of Lords reform and I think it’s pretty clear to anyone watching this debate that they failed to achieve a consensus."

Bone Peter JulySecondly, Peter Bone (Wellingborough), appearing on the Daily Politics show, was asked how he felt being threatened by the Lib Dems. He replied:

"Quaking in my boots. ... They just can’t be trusted. I mean, the deal was they got this wretched AV vote in return for the boundary review. They all voted for that bill, I actually voted against the bill, and now because they didn’t get what they wanted in the AV they’re now saying ‘well it’s all about House of Lords reform.’ ... House of Lords reforms were bringing forward proposals, seeking agreement, but nothing about legislation. The Prime Minister said it was a third term priority. A consensus is a consensus, and we’re still seeking it. We haven’t quite made it yet."

Continue reading "Backbench Tories irked by Lib Dem threats over Lords reform" »

14 May 2012 12:07:22

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

By Matthew Barrett
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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" »

4 May 2012 12:05:47

Record of how Conservative MPs are reacting to the local election results

A variety of reactions are pasted in this blog. The names of those calling for some change of message, priority or operational changes are emboldened. We have also included the contributions of MPs who have not advocated substantial changes.

5.45pm A little round-up of what Tory MPs have said during the day:

David Ruffley MP advocated radical economic measures - and a withdrawal from the Coalition if Lib Dems won't back them:

"I think now with the position now where there was a Coalition Agreement two years ago but quite a few senior colleagues think that was then, this is now. We didn't think two years ago that the economy would still be flat on its back and everything now has to be directed towards getting the British economy going. And yes it does mean looking at tax again but also, a freer labour market, the hiring and firing proposals to make sure that young people aren't turned away from jobs because of the very onerous social employment protection legislation in this country, so we should say to the Liberals on things like that which they are blocking, 'Listen we are in a real hole now. We need some radical economic polices put in place and you go with it and if you don't, we how would you like a general election?'"

Peter Bone MP urged the Government to drop any "wishy-washy" policies in the Queen's Speech:

"You can see what happens when there is a Conservative Government, because there was a Conservative Government run in London by Boris and he got re-elected. He put forward Conservative policies and he got re-elected and he bucked the national trend, and that really should be a message for the Coalition. Be more conservative and be less liberal wishy-washy and I think that’s what the voters would like to see in the Queen’s speech.” 

Continue reading "Record of how Conservative MPs are reacting to the local election results " »

4 May 2012 06:14:38

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

By Matthew Barrett
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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" »

1 May 2012 18:30:23

Only three Tory MPs rebel against move to relax Sunday trading laws for the Olympics

By Matthew Barrett
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In the Commons yesterday, a debate was held on whether to suspend Sunday trading restrictions for the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. The Bill passed through the House, with only extremely minor rebellion from the Tory benches. This was surprising because there was some consternation felt by some sections of the backbenches about the proposals, with the suspicion that the period was simply softening the public up for a full scrapping of Sunday trading laws. 

Halfon RobertMinisters were very clear in assuring the House that the proposals are temporary:

"Robert Halfon (Harlow) (Con): Will my hon. Friend reassure a significant number of Harlow residents who have written to me that the Bill is just a temporary Bill for the Olympics, and that there are no plans to extend Sunday trading per se?

Mr Prisk: I am happy to give that assurance. I do not want to test the patience of the Deputy Speaker. The motion is about the proceedings of the House, but I want to make it crystal clear that the Bill will come off the statute book immediately after 9 September."

The first vote, which was merely a procedural vote concerning the passage of the BIll, was agreed to with 281 ayes, and 112 noes. The only two Tory noes on that vote were Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone, who voted with the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party and many Labour MPs. 

Andrew Selous MPIn the second period of debate, which was more substantive and longer, several Tory MPs sought assurances about elements of the Bill:

"Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire) (Con): I am extremely grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way. He is being extremely generous very early on in his remarks. Will he give me some reassurance? What protection will be in place for, say, volunteer sports coaches or church workers with commitments on Sundays, if their volunteer commitments are threatened by having to work extra hours?

Vince Cable: Of course, they could opt out of the commitments, as is already provided for under existing legislation, which means that they will receive all the protections subject to unfair dismissal legislation."

Continue reading "Only three Tory MPs rebel against move to relax Sunday trading laws for the Olympics" »

28 Mar 2012 16:29:44

Tory MPs debate assisted suicide

Yesterday in a five hour debate MPs discussed the law on assisted suicide. Extracts from some of the contributions from Conservative MPs are pasted below.

Jacob Rees-Mogg: "We have to legislate for the weak and vulnerable, and for those who have nobody to defend them. Yes, of course we can all cite examples of intelligent, capable people who would be able, for example, to resist pressure from family members who might be after an inheritance, but what about those who feel that they have become a burden to society? My greatest concern for the elderly and the frail is that, although they might be enjoying their lives, they might feel that they have become a burden and therefore selflessly propose that their own end should be hastened. That is my concern about the term “voluntary”."

John Baron: "For the avoidance of doubt, let me absolutely clear: I believe that the compassionate approach for patients who are in severe pain, are terminally ill and have the support of their family would be to allow them to choose to die provided that the appropriate safeguards are in place. Yes, there is a right to life, and that is terribly important, but there is also a right to choose to die with dignity, knowing that one’s relatives will not be prosecuted, and surrounded by family and loved ones—not alone for fear of the prosecution of those left behind. That is why I will support amendment (a). This area is far too important and the situation is far too unique to be left to Government officials. It should be subject to parliamentary oversight. Yes, we know that the guidelines are just that and are not law, but prosecution or the threat of it can be profoundly disturbing to the loved ones left behind. We should not underestimate that. We do not know for sure whether those left behind will have committed a criminal act, but the threat of prosecution or prosecution itself can be profoundly disturbing, particularly for those who have already had to endure severe grief in their lives. Putting guidance on the statute book brings that certainty. It brings certainty that those who maliciously assist someone to die will be prosecuted and also provides protection to those acting on compassionate grounds. I believe that those factors should be taken into account and that we need to end that uncertainty."

Eleanor Laing: "Many hon. Members have spoken about choice and palliative care, but palliative care does not work for everyone. If it did, we would not have a problem and we would not be having this debate. Some people who are in the final stages of life have intolerable and untreatable suffering and pain. They have no choice, and they deserve our compassion. Although I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Mr Leigh) about the right to life being paramount, we cannot ignore quality of life at its end."

Continue reading "Tory MPs debate assisted suicide" »