Watch May lie to Parliament to claim pairing breach vote-cheating was ‘in error’

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Theresa May lied to Parliament yesterday. During Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), she told MPs that Chief Whip Julian Smith and Conservative party chair Brandon Lewis broke pairing – in other words, cheated to win a tight vote – in error.

We now know – because Smith admitted it – that he did it intentionally.

Had May lost the vote, it is likely she – and possibly even her government – would have fallen.

Video has also emerged showing Lewis ‘conspiring’ with ‘pairing whip’ Andrew Stephenson just before the vote, with Lewis then literally running to carry out his orders:

Tory Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom was still insisting this evening, on Channel 4 News, that the betrayal had been ‘inadvertent’, in spite of Smith’s admission and the video evidence.

The ministerial code of conduct is absolutely clear: if a minister knowingly misleads Parliament, their resignation is required – and that applies to Prime Ministers equally.


The Tories’ congenital dishonesty means that they are still unable to get their story straight – but Theresa May cannot credibly claim ignorance of the reality of her subordinates’ lack of principle and their actions.

‘Pairing’ is vital to the smooth functioning of Parliament and a government can be hobbled if MPs of other parties refuse to trust it to honour the practice, as they can force the government to keep all its MPs constantly close to Parliament in case there is a vote – and this applies even more so in a Commons as tightly balanced as this one.

It is inconceivable that Smith and Lewis would commit such a breach without May’s knowledge and permission.

Only her own resignation – long overdue after the Windrush debacle – is sufficient for such faithlessness and betrayal.

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  1. It’s unfortunate that during Theresa May’s misspent youth that she spent so much time frolicking through the cornfields instead of attending Sunday School were she may have learnt that it naughty to tell lies

  2. I don’t understand why they trusted the pairing as this isn’t the first time this has happened on a crucial vote, or am I dreaming it up?

  3. may on CHEATING during parliamentary vote: ‘An error’ = No action taken. MSM silence

    mcvile on LYING to parliament not once or twice, but THRICE: ‘Inadvertent’ = No action taken. MSM silence

    zahawi on expenses FRA… err ‘claims’: ‘A mistake’ = No action taken. Initial MSM lip service paid, that’s it.

    Plod on green/fox/shapps’ company: ‘constitutes FRAUD’ = No action taken. Initial MSM ‘interest’ lasts a minute or so

    Poor sod gets overpaid 30p in Tax credit/ housing benefit/ Income support = £50 civil penalty imposed without any trial, benefits withdrawn and MSM frenzy along the lines of: ‘Lazy lying scrounger defrauds hardworking taxpayer to fraudulently claim overly generous state-funded largesse’

    Makes me wanna vomit…

  4. “It is inconceivable that Smith and Lewis would commit such a breach without May’s knowledge and permission.

    Only her own resignation – long overdue after the Windrush debacle – is sufficient for such faithlessness and betrayal.”

    Of course she must have known but I don’t expect the leader of this venal Tory regime to step down of her own volition and will be surprised if she sacks the whips. There is not one ounce of integrity or respect for parliament, conventions or even international laws present in the regime as it clings to power by it’s desiccated finger tips.

    The weak but still vicious May regime is bolstered by the MSM and an array of colluding cross party MPs, all working for Capital and their own personal interests against the interests of the British public, society and the human and environmental victims of Western imperialism abroad.

    Western led imperial capitalism is in its death throws and that is when a prey animal is at its most dangerous.

  5. The whole thing is pretty pathetic.
    And easily fixed for the future.
    All thy need to do is introduce a system where ‘pairs’ are ‘registered’ with the speakers’ office; then if some tory ****hole decides to vote anyway, that vote can be disqualified by the speaker.
    It really ain’t rocket science, though I suspect it’s way beyond the capabilities of the average Tory MP.
    The current system, requiring people to trust tories, is untenable.

  6. When is this going to stop it’s outrageous and she and mc vile should be sacked, parliament stands for nothing but lies and corruption and we are all standing by and expecting it, shame on them, but even bigger SHAME on us

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