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Prisoner votes, the Twittering MPs revolt - and an unwhippable Parliamentary Party?

By Paul Goodman
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I wrote recently that it has never been harder to be a Whip.  This morning, I cite as supporting evidence the above tweets, issued on Tuesday evening - immediately after the Guardian's claim that the Government was considering supporting votes for prisoners went online.  There will be more along the same lines from other Conservative MPs for those who care to trawl through the backlog.

Once upon a time, a controversial claim would break in the morning's papers, print and radio journalists would try to get MPs to comment, and the Whips would try to shut them up.  Now the combination of online news and Twitter has transformed all that.  MPs are setting out their position before the Whips Office has had time to scratch its head.

No wonder one Whip says that the Parliamentary Party is now unwhippable.


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