Posts Tagged ‘Lib Dem betrayal’

Whip’s Notebook: The great boundary bust-up

01/02/2013, 09:00:25 AM

by Jon Ashworth

Tuesday was not a good day for the Tory whips.

There were early signs that not all was well on the Tory benches at Tuesday’s Treasury questions. In Westminster terms, the monthly joust between Ed Balls and George Osborne is usually box office and true to form the Labour benches were packed. Yet strangely the Tory benches were sparse and subdued.

A complete contrast with two and half years ago when adoring Tory MPs would try desperately hard to impress Osborne asking helpful questions here and guffawing at every “gag” there.

But now what a turnaround.

As each day goes by and we hear more grim news about an economy that continues to flat line while government borrowing and debt continues to increase, it seems Tory MPs are literally deserting their chancellor. Future leaders now talked of are Norman, Afyirie, Johnson and Gove, not Osborne anymore. No wonder his punch lines this week were greeted with tumbleweed on the Tory benches.

Perhaps Tory MPs were saving themselves for the debate later that afternoon on the boundaries and boy did they vent their spleen. Take Portsmouth Tory MP Penny Mordaunt accusing the Liberal Democrats of “spite, pettiness and self-interest”, while at the same time appearing oblivious to the fact that the pain she was experiencing from this Lib Dem “betrayal” was as a result of the gun she had taken and fired at her own foot as a Tory ringleader of the Lords rebellion last year.

Tory MP after Tory MP spluttered about the impertinence of an unelected chamber telling the Commons how it’s elected members’ constituency boundaries should be drawn. The self same Tory MPs who had defended and voted for an unelected House of Lords just months earlier.


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