Quitter MPs fail to hold onto Foreign Affairs Select Committee slots in needless Commons vote – with a paltry level of support from Labour MPs
Former Labour MPs Ian Austin and Mike Gapes suffered a self-inflicted humiliation today after losing a Commons vote on whether they could cling onto prestigious select committee places – with only a handful of Labour MPs supporting them.
The two MPs held the places because they had been allocated to the Labour Party, but they expected to be allowed to remain in them as ‘independents’.
Even though it should have been entirely a Labour decision which MPs sit on the committees in Labour seats, the matter went to a Commons vote – which the pair lost by 199 votes to 134.
However, the 134 votes for them to keep the places included only thirteen Labour MPs:
The thirteen had more than a whiff of ‘the usual suspects’ about it – and the paltry number suggests the two MPs retain scant sympathy among Labour ex-colleagues, if they ever had any in the first place.
Unsurprisingly, Austin whined about the loss, blaming a Corbyn ‘plot’ – can you say ‘conspiracy theorist’, Ian? – and claiming he was being punished for ‘standing up to racism’. The idea that it might have been because of his personal failings and the frustration of Labour MPs at his sense of entitlement and eagerness to damage Labour long before he jumped ship.
Gapes said it was a ‘sad day for the independence of select committees’, although the select committees appeared to be untroubled.
So far, #IStandWithMikeGapes and #IStandWithIanAustin hashtags have not exactly taken off on social media:
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