The ConDem government was defeated in parliament on the EU budget last night – Halloween – after 53 Conservative MPs defied their party over the issue.
Tory rebels joined with Labour to pass an amendment calling for a real-terms cut in spending between 2014 and 2020. The amendment, passed by 307 votes to 294, is not binding on ministers, but is a blow to Call Me Dave Cameron’s authority on Europe before key talks next month.
We don’t regularly report the voting of Croydon’s MPs or the LibDems from nearby Sutton seats, mainly because they are usually such loyal lobby-fodder for their political bosses (rather than, perhaps, voting to reflect the interests and views of their constituents).
But on this occasion, we thought we’d check on whether the brave words about Brussels bureaucracy and European waste would be put into action by supporting the “Reckless motion” – put by Tory MP Mark Reckless – calling for EU budget cuts.
- Richard Ottaway (Con, Croydon South): voted against the amendment calling for EU budget cuts.
- Gavin Barwell (Con, Croydon Central): voted against the amendment calling for EU budget cuts.
- Paul Burstow (LibDem, Sutton and Cheam): voted against the amendment calling for EU budget cuts.
- Tom Brake (LibDem, Carshalton and Wallington): voted against the amendment calling for EU budget cuts.
Where this gets really interesting is that once the vote result came through last night, even one of the most devotedly loyal of Barwell supporters among Croydon’s Conservative councillors was welcoming the outcome in the Westminster lobby and expressing their opposition to EU waste.
Given the number of Croydon’s Tory councillors being courted by UKIP, and the way Boris Johnson is prowling around Croydon South in search of a safe parliamentary seat, could there be splits emerging in the local Conservative Association?
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- Clegg to attack Labour over EU (bbc.co.uk)
- Osborne: Labour is being “opportunistic” just like Hague’s Tories (newstatesman.com)
- Tory MPs join Labour to push for EU budget cuts (independent.co.uk)
- Cameron suffers Commons defeat on EU budget (guardian.co.uk)