On Wednesday night, Theresa May’s government suffered a humiliating defeat in its attempt to block an amendment to Philip Hammond’s Finance (no.3) Bill that would tie the government’s hands on its spending on preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
But why did May try to defeat the amendment? Last month, when she knew she was in danger of losing votes on other amendments to the finance bill, May and her government simply hid – they conceded the amendments without even trying to fight them. Such displays of parliamentary contempt and cowardice have become commonplace with this government.
According to at least one Cabinet minister, the decision may have been an attempt to manoeuvre Chancellor Phil ‘Hapless’ Hammond into resigning. The minister told the Times’ Sam Coates:
Of course, ever since 2010 Tory ministers have conspicuously ignored normal parliamentary rules requiring the resignation of ministers, as Jeremy Hunt and Esther McVey amply demonstrated, so Hammond’s voluntary departure was not realistically on the menu.
But even if his colleague’s comment was only made in jest, it reveals another facet of the chaos and division of what masquerades as ‘government’ under the Tories.
The desperate millions in this country need a general election to give them hope of change.
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