Live from the ‘No’ lobby

WE’RE voting on the Tory amendment to the programme motion right now. Highlight of the short debate so far was a disgraceful attempt by David T. C. Davies, the Welsh Tory, to grab some publicity on the back of Bob Spink’s excellent contribution.

Having recently deserted the Tories for UKIP, Bob was speaking from his usual place on the furthest back bench between the likeable Brian Binley (Con) and Davies. Bob was valiantly defending the right of the police to carry out investigations without political interference – a stance fiercely opposed by his former party. Brian started mugging for the chamber and expressing his disagreement by (physically) brushing off Bob’s comments, dismissing them with an ostentatious wave of his hand. Inevitably, Davies felt he had to get in on the act and physically grabbed Bob’s elbow to indicate his view that perhaps his former colleague should be speaking from the Labour benches.

Amazingly, he managed to get away with this behaviour and was not expelled from the Chamber; physically interfering in another member’s contribution is (or should be) utterly unacceptable.

I suspect, though, that TC was simply allowing the atmosphere to get to him. No excuse for that behaviour, mind you, and has undoubtedly reminded onlookers why he is not destined for front bench duties in the near future.

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10 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party, Parliament

10 responses to “Live from the ‘No’ lobby

  1. I saw that too. Utterly disgraceful. Yet another sign that the speaker is unable to do his job.

    At this point I don’t even care if we have another Labour speaker, I just think Martin should go, and quickly, although I think Ming Campbell would be a sensible compromise for all sides.

  2. richard

    “Tom Harris, the Labour blogger, rises to make a point of order. He says that he found a letter from a Tory MP on his keyboard in his locked office when he arrived today. How did it get there? The Speaker says he will look into it.”

    I presume you’ll be handing yourself in to the police shortly…

  3. Er...

    That’s a “letter from”, Richard, not a “letter to.”

    I know they are only little words, but a careful reader (not a Tory troll) would realise their importance.

  4. Graham Couchman

    It has always been a mystery to me how and why the Monmouthshire Conservatives selected David TC Davies. He was a member of the Welsh Assembly before becoming an MP, and was an embarrassment then, so they can’t say they didn’t know what he is like.

  5. richard

    Er… (4.47pm)

    I fail to see the distinction.

  6. ani

    I saw that unpleasant incident and watched the whole debate in fact. Initially the atmosphere was pretty charged, and with enough spluttering hot air that if bottled would be sufficient to heat my house this winter.

    Frank Field was right to remind the House that constituents watching may not be impressed with their behaviour – Amen to that, and was it him or Gerald Kaufman who pointed out that it wasn’t in the MP’s job description to virtually employ a serial leaker, and I think that Damian Green should accept that criticism, and not attempt to have it brushed off as ‘every body does it’. He’s at fault, and if he’d not been party to that, none of this would have erupted.

    I think that leaking, whoever does it, is wrong, and as Dennis McShane indicated, the relentless drip, drip effect of leaking undermines trust in colleagues and encourages nervousness and secrecy, the very thing no-one wants to happen.
    Tony Wright was right to mention that constituents may be puzzled by more talk of MP’s privileges, in light of the recent revelations of MP’s incredibly privileged expenses.

    And as for the suggestion journalist’s can’t do their job without leakers, pleeese.
    They should be getting out and finding, investigating and earning their stories and stop being such parasites.
    Leaking civil servants, MP’s and journalists, what a shameful coterie.

  7. ani

    @Tacitus. Are you there?
    I responded to your complaint about paper boys and big brother on the Blue Herring thread, but what you omitted to mention was that the council involved was a Tory one. It’s on ConHome today.

    I hope my directing you to the CiF debate was helpful to you.

  8. Er...

    A letter to another MP, in Tom’s posession, might have been leaked to him, and your point would hold water.

    A letter from another MP to Tom, placed in his locked office while he is away, is not one which has been leaked – the issue is how the person who placed it there got in the office.

  9. Chris' Wills

    I’ve read that the goverment whipped the vote.

    Surely this can’t be true?
    The choice of speaker is for parliament to decide, as Tom said and history sometimes shows, not a matter for goverment to intervene on.

    It would be totally disgraceful if true, the goverment undermining parliaments powers yet again.

  10. richard

    It doesn’t say who the letter is to, just who it’s from. It could be from a Tory MP to anyone although I take your point.

    Probably Special Branch left it there when they were rummaging through his personal effects.

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