31 Oct 2013

HS2 vote: ‘Come if you want to’

Quite a lot of Labour MPs are away from Westminster – the party’s running a “come if you want to” one line whip on the HS2 vote later today.

Tories and Lib Dems are running a three line whip but it’s a “come if you want to vote for it, do feel free to spend half term with the family if you don’t” three line whip. Quite a few antis have been told to slope off and not bother the “no” tellers.
The Government Unveils The High Speed 2 Rail Route Stations
The Tories have a bunch of post-reshuffle brand new whips who’ve been bushy-tailed and pro-active trying to keep the rebel numbers down. Rebels managed 16 at the last count and would like to get that number up but don’t expect to achieve a quantum leap. Whips have been telling dissident MPs that this HS2 Paving Bill is the one that permits compensation and so they should, as an insurance policy for their own complaining constituents, at least make sure they get some money even if they don’t get their way.

Some complain that the bushy-tailed whips have been a bit too proactive of late – not least in trying to get colleagues shouting their heads off in support of the PM during PMQs. Decibel levels yesterday were ear bleeding.

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