So far, since the General Election, the government has been so scared of losing a Labour-sponsored vote in Parliament that they have ‘whipped‘ MPs not to vote on ‘Opposition Day’ motions – gifting Labour the win so that they can claim they were not defeated, but simply abstained.
In short, they have preferred to run away.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cleverly used a little-known parliamentary procedure to force the Tories to choose between voting or revealing everything about the Windrush scandal – and to put them in a situation where, whether they vote or not, their absolute guilt over the Tories’ vile treatment of the Windrush generation will be on clear display.
Labour have brought what is known as a ‘humble address motion‘, demanding that the government hand over its ‘impact assessments’ – along with all correspondence to or between ministers, senior officials and advisers – of the consequences of its policies on Windrush-generation citizens, which will be debated and voted on later today.
This puts the Tories in an unwinnable situation. If they follow their normal post-general election practice of running away from the vote, they will be forced to hand over everything that reveals their awareness and guilt about Windrush.
If they break that usual practice to vote and try to defeat the motion, then they will show beyond any question that those papers must contain incredibly damning information – and they still reveal their awareness and guilt.
The Tories have panicked. Not only will they vote, but Theresa May has issued a ‘three-line whip‘ to require all Tory MPs to vote with the government to defeat the motion.
Jeremy Corbyn manoeuvred Theresa May into a corner – and she lost her nerve… she has leapt to the most extreme measure available to her to keep the government’s documents about the Windrush horror secret.
A three-line whip is the highest level of parliamentary enforcement – any Tory MPs who even abstain, let alone vote against the government, will be subject to considerable disciplinary measures, including resignation or sacking for those in any front bench position.
Jeremy Corbyn manoeuvred Theresa May into a corner – and she lost her nerve. Not only has she decided that the Tories will break practice and vote, she has leapt to the most extreme measure available to her to keep the government’s documents about the Windrush horror secret.
Everyone who cares about the proper treatment of our people and the clear racism at the heart of the government will have been asking what else Theresa May is hiding about the Tories’ assault on UK citizens of Commonwealth origin.
And now we all know, beyond any doubt at all, just how desperate that guilt must be for Theresa May to have panicked so completely in the face of Jeremy Corbyn’s political intelligence and Labour’s steadfast determination to hold her to account.
The debate is expected to start around 1pm, with the vote taken before 7pm.
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