A Labor proposal that should have forced a vote on a ban on jailbreaking has been defeated amid grotesque scenes in the House of Commons.
Politicians have claimed that Conservative MPs were “handled” and bullied into voting with the government to oppose the ban, contrary to what their party claimed in 2019. .
The Conservative whips that initially claimed the vote on whether to give the Commons time to consider legislation to stop shale gas mining is being seen as a “motion of confidence” in the government that is currently in power. messed up by Liz Truss.
But after a flurry of Tory MPs signaled they would not take part in the vote, climate minister Graham Stuart caused embarrassment by telling the Commons: “Clearly this is not a vote of confidence. “
According to Sky’s political editor, Beth Rigby, it is widely suggested that head Wendy Morton has resigned.
Meanwhile, the split list shows 40 Conservative MPs who did not take part in the unrest vote at all – including Prime Minister Liz Truss.
It is not clear why the Prime Minister did not vote.
No votes were recorded for several high-profile Tories including Boris Johnson, Nadine Dorries, David Davis, Greg Clark, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Kwasi Kwarteng, Theresa May, Wendy Morton, Alok Sharma, Priti Patel and Ben Wallace .
This was despite a three-line whip and all the Tories were told they had to vote in favor of the government.
‘Not entirely clear’ if the main whip is still in the card
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the business secretary, told Sky News it was “not entirely clear” if the chief whip was still in her post when asked about the claims.
He also denied Labor MP Chris Bryant’s accusations that some Conservative MPs shouted at and “handled” others in the voting lobbies to get them to vote with the government.
He said he didn’t see any bullying or physical contact “other than a woman patting someone on the back affectionately” – although “one member used a rough”.
And he suggested that a junior Downing Street official was “mistakenly” saying Labour’s jailbreak motion was no longer a vote of confidence – leading to that later being told by Mr Stuart in the Commons. .
Describing the chaotic scene, Mr Bryant told Sky News that a Conservative MP, Alexander Stafford, had been “tortured” and “bullied”.
He said: “There is a range of Conservatives who are completely uncertain as to whether they will be allowed to vote on the Labor proposal because of what has been said in the room about it being a vote. freedom or a vote of confidence.
“There was a group – including several cabinet ministers – that were basically shouting at them. At least one member was dragged through the door into the voting hall.”
‘I’ve never seen anything like it’
He announced Jacob Rees-Mogg and Theresa Coffey, the deputy prime minister, were among the group “moving forward with one member” into the voting lobby.
Mr Bryant said the behavior seen in the hallways tonight was “totally out of order” and he had “never seen anything like it”.
He said he took a photo of the moment he will hand over the chief whip as evidence.
“What’s not okay is shouting in the detachment corridors, pointing and shoving aggressively,” he said.
A source close to Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey has told Sky News she is “not dealing with anyone”.
In response to the claims, Mr Stafford also tweeted: “Lots of rumors flying around tonight.
“This vote was never meant to be disruptive but about Labor trying to destabilize the country and take control of parliament.
“I had a frank and forceful conversation outside the voting corridor confirming my objection to antagonizing members of the government, nothing more, reaffirming my position. that I talked about in the conference room tonight.”
‘Tories in open warfare’
Several MPs claimed to have witnessed chaos ahead of the vote.
Labor chief Ian Murray said: “I’ve never seen such a sight at the entrance to the voting hall. Tories about open war. Jostling and Rees Mogg shouted at their colleagues. Whis screamed. with the Tories. They’re done and should call an election general. Two Tory whips pull everyone in. Shocking.”
Labor MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle added: “Just saw the Tory whip handle a Tory MP crying into their hallway for vandalism. You can’t create this toxic stuff, seriously. upset to see the Tories working, if this is how they are treated. MPs please give a thought to the country.”
And Jess Philips said: “A bunch of Tory people going on in the hallways, literally trying to force people through. Very angry.”
230 MPs voted in favor of the proposal, while 326 opposed, 96 a majority of the government.
Ahead of the Commons confrontation, many Conservative MPs voiced their displeasure over Ms Truss’ plan to return to the war with “local consent”.
Chris Skidmore, MP and tsar with no government network, said he would not vote with the government and was “ready to face the consequences of my decision”.
The breaking ban was introduced in 2019 after a series of concussions, and that year’s Tory manifesto said it would not support it “unless science clearly shows that it can be done safely.” whole”.
A report commissioned by the British Geological Survey (BGS) at the time suggested more data was needed, but despite a lack of scientific progress, Ms Truss’ administration tore up the pledge.
‘There is no way out for the Conservatives’
Dramatic scenes ensued as Ms Truss fought for her political survival following the sacking of prime minister Kwasi Kwarteng last Friday and the severance of much of the government’s small budget on Monday by the prime minister. new general Jeremy Hunt.
Conservative MP Sir Charles Walker, who has called for Ms Truss to leave, said he was concerned that the parliamentary party would have no way back after the events of recent weeks.
He criticized “people without talent” who “put Liz Truss in number 10”, adding: “I hope it’s well deserved.
“I hope it deserves the departmental red box, I hope it deserves to sit around the desk.”