The ten Conservative MPs who voted against the Health and Social Care Levy Bill at Third Reading

15 Sep
  • Baron, John
  • Chope, Christopher
  • Davies, Philip
  • Davison, Dehenna [pictured]
  • Drax, Richard

 

  • Everitt, Ben
  • Fysh, Marcus
  • Mackinlay, Craig
  • McVey, Esther
  • Redwood, John

There were 44 Conservative abstentions – which is in the same territory as last week’s vote on the same issue.  However, the usual cautionary note applies: though some Tory backbenchers will have refused to support the Bill, others will be abroad, ill, or absent for other reasons.

The five Conservative MPs who voted against the Health and Social Care levy

8 Sep
  • Chope, Christopher.
  • Davies, Philip.
  • Hudson, Neil [pictured]
  • McVey, Esther.
  • Redwood, John.

That looks like a very small rebellion indeed, and a crushing triumph for Boris Johnson.

However, the Government won the vote by 319 to 248.  Tom Newton-Dunn tweeted earlier that a maximum of 46 Conservative MPs therefore didn’t vote with the Government.

Which means that 39 Tory backbenchers abstained.

We don’t tend to list abstentions, because it’s impossible to differentiate quickly between those who deliberately abstain and those who are simply absent: ill, abroad, in their constituency, dealing with a family crisis, whatever.

All the same, that’s a lot of abstentions – enough were they votes against to overturn the Government’s 83 majority.

The vote must thus be read as a warning shot across the Prime Minister’s bows about tax rises or, as we put it here, that the cat of Tory tax rises has fewer than nine lives to lose.

McVey, Walker and Wragg. The most rebellious Conservative MPs in our survey of major votes.

22 Jun

Last week, ConservativeHome published a list of the 49 Conservative MPs who voted against the Coronavirus Regulations. As we said at the time, it was the biggest Covid rebellion since December 2, and a reminder that even if a Government has a huge majority, it can easily be rocked about by unprecedented events (a pandemic).

From 2020 and 2021, we have been keeping track of rebellions. It’s worth adding that rebellions can take various forms – Chris Green resigning as a ministerial aide, for instance – and that there have been many minor ones, so there may be one MP who is technically the most rebellious on less prominent issues. However, for the purpose of one article we’ve focused on major voting events. So who exactly has pushed back the most?

First of all, here is a list of the rebellions we tracked – with a nickname and link to recap on what each was about:

And without further ado, we can reveal that Esther McVey, Charles Walker and William Wragg are joint first in our “most rebellious MP” league table – with nine rebellions to their names. Here’s how they rebelled.

Esther McVey:

  1. Huawei
  2. Coronavirus Act 1
  3. Rule of Six
  4. Curfew
  5. Lockdown
  6. Tiers
  7. Third lockdown
  8. Coronavirus Act 2
  9. Coronavirus regulations

Charles Walker:

  1. Coronavirus Act 1
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Tiers
  6. Third lockdown
  7. Genocide Amendment
  8. Coronavirus Act 2
  9. Coronavirus regulations

William Wragg:

  1. Huawei
  2. Coronavirus Act 1
  3. Rule of Six
  4. Curfew
  5. Lockdown
  6. Tiers
  7. Genocide Amendment
  8. Coronavirus Act 2
  9. Coronavirus Regulations

MPs who have rebelled on eight occasions:

Graham Brady:

  1. Huawei
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Tiers
  6. Third lockdown
  7. Coronavirus Act 2
  8. Coronavirus regulations

Philip Davies:

  1. Coronavirus Act 1
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Tiers
  6. Third lockdown
  7. Coronavirus Act 2
  8. Coronavirus regulations

Richard Drax:

  1. Huawei
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Tiers
  6. Third lockdown
  7. Coronavirus Act 2
  8. Coronavirus regulations

Andrew Rosindell:

  1. Huawei
  2. Curfew
  3. Lockdown
  4. Tiers
  5. Third lockdown
  6. Genocide Amendment
  7. Coronavirus Act 2
  8. Coronavirus regulations

Desmond Swayne:

  1. Coronavirus Act 1
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Tiers
  6. Third lockdown
  7. Coronavirus Act 2
  8. Coronavirus regulations

MPs who have rebelled on seven occasions:

Philip Hollobone:

  1. Huawei
  2. Coronavirus Act 1
  3. Rule of Six
  4. Tiers
  5. Genocide Amendment
  6. Coronavirus Act 2
  7. Coronavirus Regulations

Tim Loughton:

  1. Huawei
  2. Curfew
  3. Lockdown
  4. Tiers
  5. Genocide Amendment
  6. Coronavirus Act 2
  7. Coronavirus regulations

Anne Marie Morris:

  1. Huawei
  2. Curfew
  3. Lockdown
  4. Tiers
  5. Third lockdown
  6. Coronavirus Act 2
  7. Coronavirus regulations

Henry Smith:

  1. Huawei
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Tiers
  6. Coronavirus Act 2
  7. Coronavirus regulations

Robert Syms:

  1. Huawei
  2. Rule of Six
  3. 10pm curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Third lockdown
  6. Coronavirus Act 2
  7. Coronavirus regulations

MPs who have rebelled on six occasions:

Peter Bone:

  1. Coronavirus Act 1
  2. Rule of Six
  3. Curfew
  4. Lockdown
  5. Coronavirus Act 2
  6. Coronavirus regulations

Christopher Chope:

  1. Huawei
  2. Curfew
  3. Lockdown
  4. Tiers
  5. Coronavirus Act 1
  6. Coronavirus regulations

David Davis:

  1. Huawei
  2. Curfew
  3. Tiers
  4. Genocide Amendment
  5. Coronavirus Act 2
  6. Coronavirus regulations

Stephen McPartland:

  1. Huawei
  2. Lockdown
  3. Tiers
  4. Third lockdown
  5. Coronavirus Act 2
  6. Coronavirus regulations

John Redwood:

  1. Huawei
  2. Curfew
  3. Lockdown
  4. Tiers
  5. Coronavirus Act 2
  6. Coronavirus regulations

David Warburton:

  1. Huawei
  2. Tiers
  3. Third lockdown
  4. Genocide Amendment
  5. Coronavirus Act 2
  6. Coronavirus regulations
Some more notes:
  • We have stopped with MPs who have rebelled a maximum of six times during this period (out of 10 in total).
  • It’s interesting to note that some “familiar faces” when one thinks of a Tory rebel aren’t included in our league – Mark Harper, for instance, who leads the Covid Recovery Group.
  • Lastly, there are some new faces to our rebellion list: Siobhan Baillie, Karen Bradley and Miriam Cates were some of the MPs to recently vote against Coronavirus regulations.

Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Cummings has lived, or at least blogged, in vain

16 Jun

“Totally f***ing hopeless.” For some curious reason, Sir Keir Starmer made no use of the Prime Minister’s alleged verdict on the Health Secretary’s performance.

Nor was it arranged for any Labour MP to fire off this ammunition, so helpfully supplied to the Opposition by Dominic Cummings just before Prime Minister’s Questions.

Sir Keir instead stuck to his script. It wasn’t a bad script, but it lacked the element of surprise.

Johnson could see the Leader of the Opposition coming a mile off, bearing a pile of complaints about the Delta variant and the failure for the first three weeks of April to put India on the red list.

Somehow Sir Keir could not make anyone feel indignant about this. He did not sound particularly indignant himself.

He sounded like a lawyer who has accepted a brief to represent the Labour Party and is making a decent fist of it, but without any real sign of fighting spirit or emotional commitment.

“Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” Sir Keir said, and then actually quoted Cummings: “There was no proper border policy because the Prime Minister never wanted a proper border policy.”

We’d heard that one before. It wasn’t the latest Cummings ammo, which might or might not have turned out to be armour-piercing, but which should at least have been test fired.

Johnson was so comfortable wrangling about Delta he managed to become quite dull: a form of defence to which he seldom resorts, but which no statesman can afford to be without.

It was left to Ian Blackford, for the SNP, to make the most amusing remark of the day, during a passage about football: “I do hope we don’t see Scotland being dragged out of the Euros against our wishes.”

Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) declared that  “one of the reasons for the popularity of the Prime Minister…”

Labour titters, though one might have thought they would want to know why the PM is popular.

According to Davies, it’s because Johnson is “always on the side of the public rather than the Establishment”.

A cheeky trick, but one which most PMs manage to perform while the going is good.

Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Davies wonders whether the Prime Minister is a Conservative

24 Mar

Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) raised a question which troubles many Tory backbenchers:

“To paraphrase the late, great, much-missed Eric Forth, Mr Speaker, I believe in individual freedoms and individual responsibility, I believe that individuals make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities than the state makes for them, I loathe the nanny state, and I believe in cutting taxes. Prime Minister, am I still a Conservative?”

In other words, Prime Minister, are you still a Conservative?

This is dangerous territory for Johnson. One day, when he is down on his luck, those Tory backbenchers will hold his fate in their hands, and not a few of them will say it all went wrong because he abandoned the true Tory faith as proclaimed by Forth and Davies.

Johnson took refuge in brevity: “Yes, Mr Speaker,” he declared with emphasis, provoking an appreciative laugh from the House, and left it at that.

Sir Keir Starmer had earlier attempted, like Davies, to indicate that the Prime Minister is not a true Conservative.

He reminded us that Johnson had promised not to cut the size of the armed forces, yet was now doing exactly that.

The Prime Minister retorted that the Army would still be 100,000 strong “if you include the reserves”, and made a crack at Jeremy Corbyn.

“Mr Speaker, he’s fighting the last war,” Sir Keir retorted, and pointed out that the regular army is to be cut from 82,000 to 72,500 by 2025, with cuts in planes, tanks and ships too.

Might Sir Keir be fighting the last war? None of us will know for certain until the next war comes and we discover whether we have the means to fight it.

The Prime Minister said it was “frankly satirical” to be lectured by Labour about the size of the Army, and mocked his opponent’s “new spirit of jingo”.

Sir Keir retorted that the Prime Minister lacked the “courage” to admit what was happening, or to put the cuts to a vote in the House.

So is the main charge against the PM that he is untrustworthy, that he is cowardly, or simply that he is not a Conservative?

The Leader of the Opposition has not yet decided where to place the Schwerpunkt, as Clausewitz would have termed it, of his attack on Johnson.

After all, the trouble with pointing out that the Prime Minister is not a Conservative is that this might increase his already quite noticeable popularity with Labour voters.

The twelve Conservative MPs who voted against the third lockdown

6 Jan
  • Brady, Graham
  • Davies, Philip
  • Drax, Richard
  • McCartney, Karl
  • McPartland, Stephen

 

  • McVey, Esther
  • Morris, Anne-Marie
  • Rossindell, Andrew
  • Swayne, Desmond
  • Syms, Robert

 

  • Walker, Charles
  • Warburton, David

The tellers were Christopher Chope and Chris Green.

53 Conservative MPs voted against the tiers plan on December 2, so a fall to twelve is clearly a substantial reduction.

We have set out some of the background here.

The forty-two Conservative MPs who voted against the Government on the 10pm curfew

13 Oct
  • Ahmad Khan, Imran
  • Amess, David
  • Baker, Steve
  • Baldwin, Harriett
  • Blackman, Bob

 

  • Blunt, Crispin
  • Bone, Peter
  • Brady, Graham
  • Chope, Christopher
  • Clifton-Brown, Sir Geoffrey

 

  • Daly, James
  • Davies, Philip
  • Davis, David
  • Davison, Dehenna
  • Doyle-Price, Jackie

 

  • Drax, Richard
  • Fysh, Marcus
  • Ghani, Nusrat
  • Green, Chris (pictured)
  • Hunt, Tom

 

  • Latham, Mrs Pauline
  • Loder, Chris
  • Loughton, Tim
  • Mangnall, Anthony
  • McCartney, Karl

 

  • McVey, Esther
  • Merriman, Huw
  • Morris, Anne Marie
  • Redwood, rh John
  • Rosindell, Andrew

 

  • Sambrook, Gary
  • Seely, Bob
  • Smith, Henry
  • Swayne, rh Sir Desmond
  • Syms, Sir Robert

 

  • Thomas, Derek
  • Tracey, Craig
  • Vickers, Matt
  • Wakeford, Christian
  • Walker, Sir Charles

 

  • Watling, Giles
  • Wragg, William

Plus two tellers – Philip Hollobone and Craig Mackinlay.

– – –

  • Seven Tory MPs voted against the Government on renewing the Coronavirus Act.
  • Twelve voted against the Government over the rule of six.
  • Now we have 42 this evening – enough to imperil the Government’s majority in the event of all opposition parties that attend Westminster voting against it too.
  • Fifty-six signed the Brady amendment, but it was never voted on, and wasn’t a measure related directly to Government policy on the virus.
  • We wrote last week that Conservative backbench protests would gain “volume and velocity”, and so it is proving.
  • There’s a strong though not total overlap between these lockdown sceptics and Eurosceptics.
  • We count eight members from the 2019 intake – and a big tranche from pre-2010 intakes.
  • Chris Green resigned as a PPS to vote against the measure.
  • He’s a Bolton MP and there’s clearly unhappiness there about these latest restrictions.

The twelve Conservative MPs who voted yesterday evening against the rule of six

7 Oct

They were –

  • Peter Bone.
  • Graham Brady.
  • Philip Davies.
  • Richard Drax.
  • Philip Hollobone.

 

  • Esther McVey.
  • Merriman, Huw.
  • Henry Smith.
  • Desmond Swayne.
  • Robert Syms.

 

  • Charles Walker.
  • William Wragg.

That’s the seven who voted against renewing the Coronavirus Act – Bone, Davies, Hollobone, McVey, Swayne, Walker and Wragg – plus five newcomers, including the Chairman of the 1922 Executive Committee.

The Daily Telegraph reports that a vote on the 10pm closing time in pubs or restaurants has been delayed until next week, “after dozens of Conservatives threatened to rebel and Labour refused to publicly back the measure”.

These are early shots in the developing Tory backbench campaign against the restrictions, which will carry on gaining volume and verocity if these and the Government’s test and track system fail to deliver.

The seven Conservative MPs who voted against renewing the Coronavirus Act

1 Oct

They were

  • Peter Bone.
  • Philip Davies.
  • Philip Hollobone.
  • Esther McVey.
  • Desmond Swayne.
  • Charles Walker.
  • William Wragg.

These MPs were presumably not satisfied with the compromise reached between the Government and Graham Brady over future votes on any changes to Act’s provisions.

They include some of the most committed Brexiteers in the Parliamentary, some of whom operate at a certain distance from the European Research Group: Bone and Hollobone especially.

Swayne told the Commons earlier this week that “I certainly hold up the Swedish model as an alternative”, and clearly he is not alone in thinking so among this band of backbenchers.