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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."

Zahawi NadhimFinally, Nadhim Zahawi, appearing on Sky News, also reiterated that the boundary reviews were linked to the AV referendum, not Lords reform:

"The boundary changes, if you read the Coalition Agreement, were directly linked to the alternative vote referendum, there is a very, very direct and clear link between those two policies, which we’ve delivered on, we’ve delivered the AV referendum and the boundary changes were very clearly linked to that. So, Nick Clegg by the way has said very, very clearly unambiguously that the boundary changes are not linked to the Lords reform issue at all."

Tweeting Tory MPs were even more condemnatory:


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