Wednesday 16 June 2021


MPs have backed a four week extension to coronavirus restrictions in a Commons vote in which, yet again, the government was supported by Labour.  The government easily won the vote with 461 ayes against 60 noes.  The bulk of the noes were the usual lockdown sceptic Tory backbenchers (49, plus two tellers).  There appears to have been a significant miscount from the tellers for the ayes (Maria Caulfield and Maggie Throup, both Conservatives) as the total for the ayes was actually 489 - making the true margin even greater.

The breakdown per party was as follows.

Ayes (461*)

Con 296
Lab 188
Ind 2
Green 1

* The tellers for the ayes appear to have miscounted

Noes (60)

Con 49
Lab 6

Thirteen Tories abstained (including all six Scottish MPs), as did three Labour MPs.  In a further mockery of their party name, all eleven Liberal Democrats abstained.

Despite making a cracking anti-lockdown speech last week, the ever cowardly Theresa May was among those Tories who abstained.

The six Labour MPs who defied the party whip were Ben Bradshaw (Exeter), Andrew Gwynne (Denton & Reddish), Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields), John Spellar (Warley), Graham Stringer (Blackley & Broughton) and Derek Twigg (Halton).

Jeremy Corbyn and Claudia Webbe were the two independents who voted in favour of the extension, alongside all the members of Labour's Socialist Campaign Group - with the exception of Lloyd Russell-Moyle who did not vote.

During the debate that preceded the vote there was yet another blistering attack upon government policy from Tory backbencher Desmond Swayne.  In a lively two minute tirade, Swayne likened his own party to communists and attacked Boris Johnson as a phoney libertarian.  Click below for the clip in full.

Here here, Sir Desmond.