Jo Swinson pairing row: Conservatives admit chief whip asked MPs to break arrangements

From The Guardian: The Conservatives have been forced to admit that their chief whip asked MPs to breach Commons voting conventions in knife-edge Brexit votes on Tuesday, as opposition parties demanded he quit and queried the accuracy of the prime minister’s account of events.

Party sources conceded on Thursday night that Julian Smith had asked several Tory MPs to break pairing arrangements but most had refused to do so. The only one who did obey the instruction was paired to a Liberal Democrat MP who was on maternity leave.

They admitted that Smith had wanted some MPs to break “short-term” pairing arrangements, where a Tory is asked to skip a vote because an opposition member is unable to attend for good reason, but had made an error in asking the party chairman, Brandon Lewis, to vote because he was paired with Jo Swinson – who only recently gave birth.

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Tory MP who blocked upskirting bill objects to women’s conference

From The Guardian: Christopher Chope, the Conservative MP who achieved notoriety last month after blocking the progress of a bill to outlaw upskirting, has used parliamentary procedure to obstruct a plan to hold a global women’s conference in the Commons.

There were shouts of “shame” after the veteran MP for Christchurch objected to the motion, read out in the Commons late on Monday, which would have allowed the venue to be used in the autumn for the Women MPs of the World conference.

If these are not objected to, they can be passed with an instant verbal vote. However, when Davies read out the motion, Chope shouted “object”, meaning it could not pass.

The new measure obstructed by Chope proposed allowing the Commons to be used by conference delegates on a non-sitting day in November.

The motion said Women MPs of the World “provides a unique opportunity to gather parliamentarians from across the world to engage in discussions about equal representation and bring about social change”.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Ailing MP wheeled into Commons in pyjamas criticises Tory whips

From The Guardian: A Labour MP who discharged herself from hospital and attended Parliament in her pyjamas in order to take part in a Brexit vote has accused Tory whips of stripping her of her dignity.

Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, said parliamentary voting procedures were archaic and undignified after the whips refused her request to be paired with a Tory MP to cancel out each other’s vote – a practice that allows MPs to be absent from Parliament with good reason.

She has been in hospital since last Friday with severe nerve pain, an ongoing complication from a hit-and-run collision several years ago.

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Proposed “upskirting” law blocked by Tory MP

From Sky News: A proposed law to make “upskirting” a specific criminal offence has been blocked by a Tory MP.

The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was stopped in its tracks when #Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to it being given a second reading in the Commons.

The bill, which was proposed by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse and supported by ministers, was expected to get the nod through the Commons on Friday.

Blocking its progress only requires one MP to shout “object” when the title of a private member’s bill is read out.

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Tory MP blocks law to protect police dogs and horses from getting stabbed

From Metro: Plans to give police dogs and horses extra legal protections from attacks have been blocked by a Tory MP. There were groans in the Commons as Sir Christopher Chope dealt a blow to campaigners by announcing he objected to the Animal Welfare Service Animals Bill.

[Read article on Metro website…]

Tory MP slammed for “suicide” heckle towards SNP in Commons

From The National: SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford asked: “Mr Speaker, what options are available to us in this house to ensure that the Government understands real concern among people in Scotland at this unprecedented power grab, and how can we make sure that our voices are heard?”

Immediately after the MP asks “what options are available”, an MP can be heard shouting “suicide”.

Multiple reports from the Chamber have suggested Tory MP Ian Liddell Grainger, who represents Bridgwater & West Somerset, was responsible for the comment.

[Read full article in The National…]

Video: Mhairi Black on the absurd anti-democratic behaviour of Tory MPs in Commons

From ScotRef: SNP MP Mhairi Black on the appalling anti-democratic tactics used by Tory MPs in the House of Commons to filibuster out Private Members Bills they don’t like.

(Mhairi was talking on a pro-Scottish independence platform, but whatever your views on that topic this is a good watch!)

Everyone needs to watch this at least once. And I mean *everyone* 👍⚔️🗡️⚔️🗡️⚔️#ScotRef

Posted by ScotRef on Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tory MP taunts Jeremy Corbyn with ‘ageist’ social care joke during Budget debate

From Daily Mirror: A heckler on the Tory benches in the House of Commons made what Labour MPs described as an “ageist” and “inappropriate” joke while Mr Corbyn complained older people “aren’t receiving the care they need”.

[Read full article on Daily Mirror website…]

PMQs: Theresa May says giving nurses a pay rise is spending money on ‘this, that and the other’

From Huffpost UK: Theresa May accused Labour of wanting to spend money on “this, that and the other” after Jeremy Corbyn demanded a pay rise for nurses.

The two party leaders clashed over the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions, with Corbyn urging May to “see sense” and scrap the one per cent public sector pay cap.

His comments came as hundreds of nurses descended on Parliament to protest over low pay, with the Royal College of Nursing warning strikes could take place if a “change of direction” is not announced this Autumn.

Nurses taking part in the protest told HuffPost UK the comments were “absolutely astonishing”.

[Read full article on Huffpost UK…]

“Sexist” Tory MP appointed to women’s rights committee

philip davies huffpostFrom Russia Today: An openly anti-feminist Conservative MP has been appointed to the Commons Women & Equalities Committee, which is responsible for holding the Government to account on women’s rights.

Shipley MP Philip Davies, who had argued that women only wanted equality “when it suits,” was elected to the Select Committee without opposition. Read more

Tory MP’s filibuster blocks bill to give carers free hospital parking

From the Guardian: A Conservative MP has blocked a proposed law to introduce free hospital parking for carers by speaking in the House of Commons for 93 minutes in order to use up the time allocated for the debate.

A private member’s bill brought forward by Julie Cooper, Labour MP for Burnley, set out a proposed exemption to hospital parking charges for carers. At the moment hospitals have discretionary powers to grant exemptions to parking charges.

Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, deployed a tactic called filibustering – where MPs speak for so long that a vote is delayed or prevented – and spoke about his opposition to the bill for more than an hour and a half.

He was aided by the Conservative MPs Christopher Chope and David Nuttall, who spoke for another hour and 20 minutes between them.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Equal Pay: Seven male Tory MPs vote against bill to make big companies reveal gender pay gap

From the Independent: Seven male Tory MPs voted against a bill to make big companies reveal their gender pay gap, it has been revealed. They were Adam Afriyie (Windsor), Aidan Burley (Cannock Chase), Christopher Chope (Christchurch), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough), David Nuttall (Bury North), Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury), and John Whittingdale (Maldon).

[Read full article on Independent website…]