Saturday 21 December 2019


As if Corbyn hadn't suffered enough already, there were raised eyebrows on Friday when it emerged that six Labour MPs had voted in favour of Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement.  This came despite an insidious purge of pro-Leave MPs and candidates over the course of the last year.  All but one MP who backed Leave in 2016 now remains in the Parliamentary Labour Party (Graham Stringer).  The others were purged by way of various means - either suspended (Kelvin Hopkins), deselected (Roger Godsiff) or driven out (Frank Field, Kate Hoey).  Those who backed Remain initially, but had since backed Leave faced similar pressures.  Caroline Flint survived the purge, but she did not survive the election.

So, who were the rebels that defied the Labour whips on Friday?

Sarah Champion (Rotherham - 68% Leave)
Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire - 55% Leave)
Jon Cruddas (Dagenham & Rainham - 70% Leave)
Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields - 62% Leave)
Grahame Morris (Easington - 66% Leave)
Toby Perkins (Chesterfield - 59% Leave)

Labour's lone 2016 Brexiteer did not vote on the bill, but he has not backed the Withdrawal Agreement previously either.  Graham Stringer was one of 32 Labour MPs who did not register a vote, although this could be due to absence rather than abstention.  Ten Conservatives also failed to vote, but again it's unclear whether they were present - did some MPs slope off early for Christmas?