Rebellions

31 Aug 2011 14:29:55

Ten new MPs responsible for a quarter of all rebellious votes by Tory MPs

By Matthew Barrett
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COMMONS-sitting As reported last week, this Parliament has seen more rebellions than during the Major years, and in fact, the 2010 intake has been the most rebellious since at least 1945. The last Parliamentary year has seen Conservative rebellions on issues such as European bailouts, recognising marriage in the tax system, or on law and order matters.

An interesting new post by Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Nottingham's NottsPolitics blog shows just ten Conservative MPs from the 2010 intake are responsible for nearly a quarter of all rebellious votes by Conservative MPs. 

Their findings also show:

  • Tory newcomers have accounted for 31% of rebellious votes cast by all Conservative MPs
  • More 2010 intake Conservative MPs have rebelled (46), compared to Labour MPs (21) or the Lib Dems (7)
  • 31% of new Tory MPs have now rebelled
  • New Conservative rebels have cast 249 rebellious votes

Continue reading "Ten new MPs responsible for a quarter of all rebellious votes by Tory MPs" »

24 Aug 2011 14:59:02

More Labour MPs have defied the whip than Conservatives and Lib Dems put together

By Matthew Barrett
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This Parliament has seen more rebellions than during the Major years. The 2010 intake has, in fact, been the most rebellious since 1945, as this graph below demonstrates:

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We have regularly covered Conservative rebellions, on issues like European bailouts, recognising marriage in the tax system, or on law and order issues.

However, Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Nottingham have a new post up on the NottsPolitics blog, which shows more Labour MPs have defied the whip than have Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs. 

Cowley and Stuart write:

"...119 Labour MPs have defied their party’s whip, more than the Conservatives and Lib Dems put together. On that measure, then, Labour are the most rebellious."

Continue reading "More Labour MPs have defied the whip than Conservatives and Lib Dems put together" »

12 Jul 2011 08:32:49

29 32 Tory MPs rebel against Britain's £9.3 billion EXTRA contribution to IMF bailouts

By Tim Montgomerie
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Last night at least 32 Tory MPs (listed below) voted with Labour against an 88% hike in Britain's contribution to the IMF. The hike is to partly fund the IMF's ability to fund bailouts. I write "at least" because I've only quickly scanned the voting list. Please email [email protected] if I've missed anyone off the list.

  1. Steve Baker
  2. Brian Binley
  3. Peter Bone
  4. Douglas Carswell
  5. Bill Cash
  6. Chris Chope
  7. James Clappison
  8. Philip Davies
  9. David Davis
  10. Zac Goldsmith
  11. James Gray (added at 9.30am)
  12. Gordon Henderson (added at 9.30am)
  13. Chris Kelly
  14. Edward Leigh
  15. Julian Lewis
  16. Anne Main
  17. Karl McCartney
  18. Nigel Mills (added at 11.30am)
  19. David Nuttall
  20. Matthew Offord
  21. Andrew Percy
  22. Mark Reckless
  23. John Redwood
  24. Simon Reevell
  25. Richard Shepherd
  26. Henry Smith
  27. Graham Stuart
  28. Peter Tapsell
  29. Andrew Turner
  30. Martin Vickers
  31. Charles Walker
  32. John Whittingdale

The Government won the vote to increase Britain's contribution from £10.7 billion to £20.15 billion by 274 votes to 246. This is the first time that the Labour frontbench has voted with Tory Eurosceptics. Labour was voting against an increase in the IMF subscription that was largely agreed during Gordon brown's time in office.

Redwood-on-NewsnightS On his blog John Redwood suggests that the 29 rebels are only one sign of Tory discontent. Given that there are more than 300 Tory MPs he calculates that AT LEAST 80 Conservatives were unavailable, abstained or voted against the government. He writes:

"Some of us want the UK government to use the influence it says it has at the IMF to halt the futile bail outs of Eurozone members. The debt markets show the markets do not believe that Greece can repay all its debts in full and on time. Yesterday was a day when market worries spread beyond Greece, Ireland and Portugal to Italy. Those in  charge of the Euro scheme need to get a grip. It is doing a great deal of financial and economic damage, and they no longer seem to be in control of their project. The IMF should decline to bail out rich countries that have shackled themselves to a currency scheme that was badly put together and needs a thorough re think."

Carswell Douglas Central Lobby 10.30am Douglas Carswell has just blogged this:

"The decision to raise our IMF subscriptions by 88 percent was first mooted when Gordon Brown was in charge – but was okayed by the current government last October.  While Canada, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium all managed to keep the increase in their subs low, whoever negotiated the deal on our behalf seems to have preferred to have UK taxpayers assume greater debt liabilities so that they could sit on a bigger chair at the various international summits they attend on our behalf. Alongside fiscal policy and monetary policy, our approach towards the bailouts and the IMF shows that there has been remarkably little change in economic policy at the Treasury since Gordon Brown was in charge." 

More from Douglas Carswell.

5 Jul 2011 08:30:46

Conservative MPs rebelling more against Cameron than Major

By Tim Montgomerie
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Over on the NottsPolitics blog Professor Philip Cowley underlines the rebelliousness of backbench Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs since the formation of the Coalition. This graph confirms that this is the most rebellious intake since the second world war:

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 08.20.20

Cowley notes:

  • "Backbench dissent amongst government MPs is running at a historically high level – with a rebellion in almost one in every two votes in the Commons...
  • This is especially striking once you remember that this is a first session (normally relatively quiet) and even more so once you realise that this is a first session after a change of government (normally extremely quiet)...
  • The rate [of rebellion] for Conservative MPs alone is higher than in any first session since the war, including that of John Major in 1992, when he faced all the Maastricht rebellions...
  • The rates of rebellion are themselves very high: Philip Hollobone in particular is rebelling at a rate of roughly one rebellion in every four votes.  This is much higher than, say, Jeremy Corbyn under Blair or Brown..."

Jonathan Isaby has produced his own list of top rebels. Professor Cowley has done the same:

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 08.20.37

Read Cowley's full blog.

30 Jun 2011 06:47:22

Concerns are raised by Tory MPs about cuts to legal aid as Ken Clarke's justice bill gets its Second Reading

By Jonathan Isaby
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Concerns from Tory MPs about the sentencing aspects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill have been well covered, not least with Philip Davies' ConHome piece on the topic yesterday.

He repeated those concerns in a speech during yesterday's Second Reading debate on the bill, and was part of a small rebellion that opposed allowing the bill to pass that stage.

The bill was given a second reading by 295 votes to 212, but five Conservative MPs voted with Labour in the No lobby:

  1. Philip Davies
  2. Richard Drax
  3. Philip Hollobone
  4. David Nuttall
  5. Andrew Percy

One issue which has not received so much coverage is the fact that some of the 2010 intake have serious concerns about the proposed cuts to legal aid.

Helen Grant led the charge, saying that the plans to reform legal aid were "brave and bold" (isn't that Yes, Minister speak for "wrong"?) and set out her problems with what is currently envisaged.

Continue reading "Concerns are raised by Tory MPs about cuts to legal aid as Ken Clarke's justice bill gets its Second Reading" »

29 Jun 2011 06:55:24

Fifteen Tory MPs back rebel amendment to recognise marriage in the tax system

MPs began debating the report stage of the Finance Bill yesterday, and voting did not finish until nearly 2am this morning.

The most notable point is that there was a rebellion in favour of a new clause to provide for the transfer of personal income tax allowances between spouses.

The new clause was tabled by Congleton MP Fiona Bruce but then moved by Gainsborough's Edward Leigh.

When it was put to the vote, it was defeated by 473 votes to 23, with the following fifteen Tories among the 23 (the others being DUP MPs and three Labour MPs):

  1. Peter Bone
  2. Fiona Bruce
  3. Douglas Carswell
  4. Chris Chope
  5. Philip Davies
  6. Nadine Dorries
  7. Gordon Henderson
  8. Philip Hollobone
  9. Edward Leigh
  10. Karl McCartney
  11. David Nuttall
  12. Matthew Offord
  13. Mark Reckless
  14. Andrew Turner
  15. Martin Vickers.

Continue reading "Fifteen Tory MPs back rebel amendment to recognise marriage in the tax system" »

8 Jun 2011 07:21:00

Government unlikely to be defeated by alliance of Labour and Tory rebels on €uro bailouts

by Paul Goodman
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I asked recently whether Labour will join with Conservative Euro-sceptics in the Commons to stop bailouts to EU countries.  The question was based on newspaper reports claiming that Ed Balls is aiming to achieve this outcome.  I have done a bit of work on the numbers, and present my conclusions below.

But first, a warning.  Last December, 27 Conservative MPs backed an amendment from Douglas Carswell to the Loans to Ireland Bill to give Parliament the final say on the interest rate on the Irish loan.  However, a vote on further bailouts may not take place at all.

This is because such bailouts would be supported partly by the European Financial Stability Mechanism, in which Britain participates.  The EFSM is funded by the European Commission by borrowing from capital markets.  British taxpayers stump up only in the event of defaults.

Further bailouts would thus not require a bill.  Indeed, the Government presumably believes that they wouldn't require a vote at all (since Britain's participation in the EFSM is already a done deal, agreed by Alistair Darling during his last days as Chancellor).

However, some Euro-sceptic MPs would certainly argue otherwise.  My view is that one can never be quite sure what will happen in Parliament - especially since the advent of the new backbench business committee, which provided the debates on which MPs voted on bailouts and votes for prisoners.

Continue reading "Government unlikely to be defeated by alliance of Labour and Tory rebels on €uro bailouts" »

2 Jun 2011 06:14:06

ConHome identifies the most rebellious Tory MPs during the Coalition's first year

By Jonathan Isaby
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It is a few days shy of exactly one year since the first Commons division of this Parliament and with MPs currently enjoying the Whitsun recess, now seems an opportune moment to take stock of how rebellious Conservative MPs have been during this first year of the Parliament.

There has been a total of 286 Commons votes in the year and the most rebellious Tory MP, Phillip Hollobone, has trooped through a division lobby without a Government whip for company on no fewer than 83 occasions.

In analysing the voting behaviour of Conservative MPs, I have two definitions of a rebellious vote:

  • Firstly, a broad definition taking into account every division and regarding a rebellious vote as any where an MP walks through a division lobby without a single government minister or whip for company;
  • Secondly, a narrower definition which considers only votes on matters of substantive government policy, mainly covering government-sponsored legislation or motions - but disregarding votes on Private Member's Business, Ten Minute Rule Bills, and procedural and programme motions.

Continue reading "ConHome identifies the most rebellious Tory MPs during the Coalition's first year" »

25 May 2011 07:28:32

Chris Heaton-Harris explains why he watered down Mark Reckless's motion on Eurozone bailouts

By Jonathan Isaby
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We have already highlighted the result of the vote of yesterday's debate on the future use of the European Financial Stability Mechanism to bail out eurozone countries, which saw a rebellion by thirty Conservative MPs.

As I explained yesterday afternoon, Mark Reckless MP proposed a motion that would have required the Government to place the EFSM on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and effectively mandated British ministers to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement relieving the UK of liability had been agreed. Reckless wrote about it for ConHome on Monday.

However, Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris - at the behest of Tory whips, according to a variety of sources - tabled an amendment signed by a large number of fellow backbenchers which watered down the original motion, instead merely urging the Government to raise the issue and expressing support for "any measures which would lead to an agreement for a Eurozone-only arrangement".

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell, a signatory to the Reckless motion, was incandescent.

Continue reading "Chris Heaton-Harris explains why he watered down Mark Reckless's motion on Eurozone bailouts" »

24 May 2011 20:10:02

27 30 Tory MPs rebel on EU bailouts motion

By Tim Montgomerie 
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Wednesday 6am NB The original list as taken from the People's Pledge failed to include four of those who rebelled yesterday. They have now been added and highlighted. Apologies for the oversight.

---

Via The People's Pledge here are the Tory MPs who backed Mark Reckless against government attempts to dilute his EU bailouts motion:

  1. Steve Baker
  2. Andrew Bingham
  3. Peter Bone
  4. Douglas Carswell
  5. William Cash
  6. James Clappison
  7. Philip Davies
  8. David Davis
  9. Nick de Bois
  10. Richard Drax
  11. Zac Goldsmith
  12. James Gray
  13. Gordon Henderson
  14. Philip Hollobone
  15. Bernard Jenkin
  16. Edward Leigh
  17. Anne Main
  18. Jason McCartney
  19. Karl McCartney
  20. David Nuttall
  21. Andrew Percy
  22. Mark Reckless
  23. John Redwood
  24. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  25. Bob Stewart
  26. Justin Tomlinson
  27. Andrew Turner
  28. Martin Vickers
  29. Charles Walker
  30. Dr. Sarah Wollaston

Continue reading "27 30 Tory MPs rebel on EU bailouts motion" »

24 May 2011 14:05:44

Moderate Tory Eurosceptics seek to water down today's hardline Eurosceptic motion on bailouts

By Jonathan Isaby
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Yesterday Mark Reckless MP wrote on ConHome about the motion he is putting before Parliament in backbench time this afternoon which would:

"require the Government to place the European Financial Stability Mechanism on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement which relieves the UK of liability under the EFSM has by then been agreed."

That has been backed by his fellow Tory MPs Zac Goldsmith, John Redwood, Douglas Carswell, Bernard Jenkin, Henry Smith, William Cash, Peter Bone, Steve Baker, David Nuttall, Gordon Henderson, Philip Hollobone, Philip Davies, John Whittingdale, Edward Leigh, Christopher Chope, James Clappison, Richard Shepherd and Andrew Turner.

However, there is considerable frustration among those ultra-Eurosceptics because a rival amendment has been tabled by Chris Heaton-Harris in what many are describing as a "whips' operation", which waters the motion down to state that the House instead merely:

"urges the Government to raise the issue of the EFSM at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council; and supports any measures which would lead to an agreement for a Eurozone-only arrangement."

Heaton-Harris's amendment has the support of Robert Syms, Charlie Elphicke, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Graham Evans, George Eustice, Richard Bacon, Ian Liddell-Grainger, Andrew Bridgen, Kris Hopkins, Caroline Nokes, Simon Kirby, Peter Aldous, Karen Bradley, Bob Blackman, Jason McCartney, Neil Parish, George Hollingbery, Stephen Metcalfe, Andrea Leadsom, John Glen, Penny Mordaunt, Harriett Baldwin, James Wharton, Rory Stewart, Jeremy Lefroy, Fiona Bruce, Amber Rudd, Christopher Pincher, Dan Byles, Paul Maynard, Mark Garnier, Roger Gale, Guto Bebb, Mark Pawsey, Alun Cairns, Caroline Dinenage, Simon Hart, Jackie Doyle-Price, Nigel Mills, Lee Scott, Chris White, Richard Ottaway, Claire Perry, Sir Paul Beresford, Gavin Williamson, Matthew Hancock, Michael Ellis, Stuart Andrew, Julian Sturdy, Graham Brady, Sam Gyimah and Priti Patel.

The debate has just got going and will be covered on ConHomein due course.

21 May 2011 06:45:34

21 Tory rebels object to supplementary vote for election of city mayors

By Tim Montgomerie

Jonathan Isaby is ConHome's student of rebellions but with him away I should record a small rebellion by Tory MPs against the use of the supplementary vote in the election of city mayors. Revolts.co.uk records the fact:

"Not content with pronouncing AV dead for years to come following the decisive 'no' in the AV referendum, some members of the Tory right have made a point of flexing their muscles over their continued support for First-Past-the-Post. On Tuesday, during the Report stage of the Localism Bill, 21 Tory MPs supported an amendment in the name of newbie MP John Stevenson, which aimed to change the electoral system for electing mayors from the supplementary vote to FPTP. Fourteen out of the 21 rebels were drawn from the new intake, while four Conservative MPs were voting against the Government for the first time: Steve Brine, Nadine Dorries, John Stevenson and Craig Whittaker."

Screen shot 2011-05-21 at 06.45.01 Moving his unsuccessful amendment Mr Stevenson said:

"At present, mayors are elected under the supplementary vote system, which is retained in the Bill. Effectively it is a form of the alternative vote. My amendment 2 would change that so that future elections are done under first past the post. That would provide a consistent approach to elections. Varying the voting system creates confusion and a lack of certainty for the average voter. Two weeks ago, this country went to the polling booth for a referendum on whether we wanted AV or first past the post. Had the voters supported AV, I would have withdrawn this amendment. I would have accepted the will of the people. In fact, there was an overwhelming and emphatic vote for first past the post. As one hon. Member said to me, “The people of this country did not say no; they said never.” I accept that judgment, but I believe there has to be consistency. I support the amendment on the basis that we should have a consistent approach to our elections and that elected mayors should therefore be elected under first past the post. I genuinely hope that the House will agree with what the people said two weeks ago and support the amendment."

Boris Johnson was elected under SV. Under SV voters have a first and second preference. Under AV you can use any number of preferences.

22 Mar 2011 06:15:58

A sole Tory MP joins the 15 MPs voting to oppose military action in Libya

By Jonathan Isaby

It came as no surprise that Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron voted against the motion supporting the UN-backed action in Libya, given this article he wrote for ConHome yesterday morning.

Mr Baron aside, 14 other MPs voted against the motion (all Labour unless indicated):

  • Graham Allen
  • Ronnie Campbell
  • Katy Clark
  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Mark Durkan (SDLP)
  • Barry Gardiner
  • Roger Godsiff
  • Caroline Lucas (Green)
  • John McDonnell
  • Yasmin Qureshi 
  • Linda Riordan
  • Margaret Ritchie (SDLP)
  • Dennis Skinner
  • Mike Wood

All Conservative MPs voted for the motion apart from the following who abstained - although it is impossible to differentiate between anyone who may have wanted to register an abstention and those who were unavoidably absent from the division:

  • Gregory Barker
  • Henry Bellingham
  • Peter Bone
  • Conor Burns*
  • Douglas Carswell
  • Oliver Colvile*
  • Alan Duncan
  • Gerald Howarth
  • Edward Leigh
  • Charlotte Leslie
  • David Lidington
  • Peter Lilley
  • Jack Lopresti*
  • Stephen McPartland
  • Jesse Norman
  • Owen Paterson*
  • Mark Reckless
  • John Redwood
  • Laurence Robertson*
  • Mel Stride*
  • Hugo Swire*
  • Martin Vickers
  • Gavin Williamson*
  • Tim Yeo

Tim summarised David Cameron's speech opening the debate yesterday here.

4pm update: The 8 asterisked* MPs are ministers and aides from the Northern Ireland Office along with members of the NIO departmental select committee who were all on parliamentary business in Northern Ireland last night.

16 Mar 2011 11:47:37

Four Conservative MPs signal concerns about the Health Bill

By Jonathan Isaby

Sarah Wollaston This afternoon sees two opposition day debates initiated by the Labour Party, on fuel prices and the NHS.

The Lib Dems' objections to the current NHS Bill are well documented, but four Tory MPs have popped their heads above the parapet to indicate they have concerns too.

An amendment to this afternoon's Labour motion on the NHS reorganisation has been submitted which would instruct the Government "to listen to the concerns of patient groups, professional bodies and independent experts and work with them to achieve a strengthened NHS".

This has been tabled by Tory MP and former GP Sarah Wollaston (pictured), and co-signed by Charles Walker, Douglas Carswell and Anne Main (along with six Lib Dems).

The amendment is unlikley to be called to be voted upon, but some of those individuals may seek to catch the Speaker's eye during the debate and expand upon their concerns...

18 Feb 2011 06:32:22

An audit of rebelliousness on the Tory backbenches since Christmas

By Jonathan Isaby

I haven't done an overall audit of Tory backbench rebellions since before Christmas - two months ago - so with the Commons having broken up for its half-term recess yesterday, now seems a timely moment to take stock.

For a while my friends in the Government Whips' Office have been taking issue with my definition of what constitutes a rebellion: I have been using a broad definition taking into account every division and regarding a rebellious vote as any where an MP walks through a division lobby without a single government minister or whip for company. They say that this is unfair for several reasons, including the fact that backbenchers vote on ten minute rule bills, whereas ministers do not; and that including votes on House of Commons business and other areas where backbenchers technically have a free vote also clouds the figures.

So from now on I will provide two league tables:

  • One covering a narrower definition of rebellions, only considering votes on substantive issues of government policy, i.e. excluding private member's bills, ten minute rule bills, programme and closure motions, money resolutions and free votes.
  • A second using my traditional broad definition, covering all divisions.

Since my last post on the matter, the biggest backbench rebellions have been:

Continue reading "An audit of rebelliousness on the Tory backbenches since Christmas" »