Coffee House

The hardcore Tory rebels and their new friends

1 November 2012

6:20 PM

1 November 2012

6:20 PM

There is now a hardcore of rebels in the Conservative party who have defied the government on three key votes. The 37 MPs below have rebelled on the EU referendum vote, the House of Lords Reform Bill, and the EU budget.


The question for the whips and the Prime Minister now is do they write these MPs off their Christmas card lists as forever-rebels, or do they launch a charm offensive that could melt even the steely heart of Peter Bone? I blogged yesterday about some of the problems that the Conservative leadership is creating for itself in terms of party loyalty, and while Bill Cash is hardly going to become chief whip, there may be others in this group who aren’t beyond rescue. The Lords reform vote picked up a significant number of MPs who were not part of the 81 who had defied the whip over an EU referendum. Last night’s vote did see a few new faces, too:

Out of the five who had not voted against the government on Europe before, Jack Lopresti was the only one rebelling for the first time last night: it will be interesting to see whether the whips manage to claw him back or whether he is now on a rebellious trajectory. The next big test will be the real vote on the deal that Cameron brings back with him from Brussels. Chances are that there won’t be a deal at all and that the Prime Minister vetoes the settlement. But if he does get the real-terms freeze that he has set out as his aim, then he and the whips will need to persuade those 53 rebels from last night to back him in the Commons when they have put their names to a demand for a cut.

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Show comments
  • mary

    with some amazing support all of sudden as a voice of freedom voice and my inspiration was a 21st centry churchill but cant explain blown away rush i think it worked and two lots of pixels one now feeding porn imagas some oooohhhh it is you isnt it trust issue passed my guard and ………… wow

  • mary

    in the mean time i was gaining some facts in a weird half real way to hit the parents or mums que the educated smartarss pissing the tory trolls of and asking intelligent questions got bit momentum going there in the money man world totally losy it and desperatky awareof a bigger picture which politics was not plan a and crimson tide wrath could be dangerous as i do pcychology tooand social ecc . people were dying at alarming rate with unstable bully and the fires child crimes was showing a scary pattern from us. (thats my gut again oooohhhhh quick sence of urgency but wacked out totally by now. right on que eeeerrrrrr pixels bugging me and jumping about key board some strange notion of remote controll i been pixeled

  • Barbara Stevens

    They won’t allow any repatriation of powers at all, they never concede. Cameron may no get what he wants, and Clegg is clutching at straws as his dreams of our full membership melt away. What will be left for Cameron to do? Well he could use his veto, but that in it’s self is becoming meaningless. They will just budget against us and increase the budget has they see fit. Of course we will need these MPs who vote as they think fit, for the nation, and welcome it. Of course then when they set the budget it has to be approved by parliament, and it should be thrown out on its head into the dustbin. Then we will be looking to what next, and we hope a referendum and let the nation decide our own destiny. I see the EU has a corrupt organisation, with unelected boffins on high salaries, and becoming a dictitorial state, within states who have let themselves be taken over. The UK can see this and will not tolerate such a thing happening here. Its time we excited ourselves from this dicatatorship, saved ourselves millions per day, and went out into the world again, trading freely. The sooner the better.

  • jazz6o6

    We were taken into the Common Merket, European Economic Community, European Union, on a lie, as the sequence of names indicates.
    Up to 1975 the British government conducted a propaganda campaign against its own population in favour of EU membership. In this endeavour it was enthusiastically supported by amongst others the Tory Party and the BBC.

  • UlyssesReturns

    What a sad, sorry site Coffee House has become. The majority of posts are from the same lefty trolls all spouting the same meaningless bile while good, honest conservative posters are banned from this supposedly right-of-centre organ presumably for insulting the trolls – you couldn’t make it up.. Very few posts seem to address the relevant blog, which is understandable given we are treated to the likes of Will Straw and the strangely Guardianesque Ms Hardman. The Daily Telegraph is not much better these days. I give up, the left have infested the MSM with their herpes-like desease and we of the right will be left to howl madly at the moon as darkness descends once again. Herete

    • Colonel Mustard

      Good to see you commenting here again, even in such sad circumstances of the veracity of your lament.

    • M. Wenzl

      Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me..

      • Colonel Mustard

        Sadly true of our once great nation. Thanks to lefty creeps just like you.

        • M. Wenzl

          If I’m a lefty creep.. what does that make you?

          Also, can I ask when we ceased to be a great nation? In 1997? 1973? 1961?

    • PeterfromMaidstone

      Mr Ulysses, you are always welcome over at the Coffee House Wall where comment is troll-free. www coffeehousewall co uk

      • UlyssesReturns

        PfM – you misunderstand me. I like and encourage debate with those of a different point of view, whether from the right, centre or left. Even the occasional troll can be amusing, but here on Coffee House they are sadly the dominant players and have shut down all intelligent discussion. It is now mostly just one side slagging off the other and no-one any the wiser. I have just returned briefly to express my disgust, particularly at the outrageous bannings of some noted past contributors, but am now retiring from the Spectator for good. This used to be a wonderful space to debate right-of-centre ideas with like-minded, intelligent people but has degenerated beyond any hope of rescue – certainly under current management and bloggers. Like others before me I have cancelled my subscription as I no longer believe the magazine is worth preserving, Your excellent site is well worth dipping into but I suggest you admit some more pieces of grit in order to get the odd pearl or two – 3 dimensions being much better than 2. Herete

        • Coffeehousewall

          Differences of opinion are never a problem. But that is not the objective of a troll, whose presence is only ever negative.

  • Russell

    The Tory rebels are the MP’s who have let down Conservative voters (and many labour voters) and didn’t vote for a cut in the EU budget, or for an EU in/out referendum.
    Cameron doesn’t get it.

  • Madame Merle

    This is the first time in 47 years of having the franchise that my opinion is being represented. Who says democracy doesn’t work?

    Thanks Zac.

  • Daniel Tekel Thomas

    If wanting out to stop pouring their constituents money down the EU toilet and upsetting Nick Clegg in the process makes these MP’s ‘hardcore rebels’ then they have my admiration and full support.

  • Daniel Maris

    Will this meaningless Yawnathon of articles about the EU spat never end? What’s left to say? The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems are all agreed we should stay in. End of story. Wake me up when UKIP are scoring 15% in the polls.

    • Andy

      But it is becoming clear that the poliical parties might agree, but the British People do not. We have other ideas.

      *Kicks Maris*

      You will find that UKIP actually got 16.5% in the last EU elections beating the Labour Party into third place on 15.7%. So it is time you woke up and were a little less arrogant.

    • Vulture

      Daniel, I”m sorry that you find the future of your country and the continent wherein it lies so dull. There is no more important issue in politics since all the others > the economy, immigration, crime, the environment – depend on this one.

      Ultimately Britain will wind up as a powerless province of an undemocratic, corrupt and supra-national Behemoth or it will regain its status as a free country, with a reasonable chance of guiding its own destiny and making its own laws again

      It’s true that the leadership of the three major parties remain wedded to the Euro-scam ( often because their own perks privileges and pensions depend upon it) but the party membership are increasingly wised up about it and the times they are a -changing.

  • Coffeehousewall

    In what way are any of these people ‘rebel’s? An MP has a responsibility to represent his constituency, NOT a party, and to be attentive to his electors NOT the whips. Since these 53 have represented the views of the electorate how are they rebels?

    • telemachus

      Don’t represent me vicar
      Please return to moderate comments on the UK porn/race site

      • Fergus Pickering

        I find the vicars sanctimonious piousness nauseating. Several months ago he was boasting at ‘the other place’ that he was high up in the church and he was going to a ecumenical event in Sweden with a lot bishops.

        • Coffeehousewall

          Telemachus, we know this is you posing as Fergus Pickering, You are really very tedious and as is often pointed out, a tit. I am not a vicar. Please stop imagining that using stupid names gives you any control over people at all.

          And thank you for raising the issue of the Benghazi incident here. It is not being covered by Spectator staff except yourself. As you point out, if people want to visit www coffeehousewall co uk they will discover that it is a serious topic of conversation.

          • telemachus

            I am aware that before Disqus several posed as me but has not happened since
            I therefore do not think that I could pose as Fergus given the name/email checks.

    • telemachus

      While we are at it some of your boys are still on about Speccie and Benghazi

      They should see David Ignatius today in Al Arabiya News(mandatory reading for the broad minded)

      The attack on the U.S. consulate
      in Benghazi has become a political football in the presidential campaign, with
      all the grandstanding and misinformation that entails. But Fox News has raised
      some questions about the attack that deserve a clearer answer from the Obama
      administration. Fox’s Jennifer Griffin reported Friday that CIA officers in
      Benghazi had been told to “stand down” when they wanted to deploy from their
      base at the annex to repel the attack on the consulate, about a mile away. Fox
      also reported that the CIA officers requested military support when the annex
      came under fire later that night but that their request had been denied.

      The Benghazi tragedy was amplified by Charles Woods, the father of slain CIA
      contractor Tyrone Woods. He told Fox’s Sean Hannity that White House officials
      who didn’t authorize military strikes to save the embattled CIA annex were
      “cowards” and “are guilty of murdering my son.”

      The Fox “stand down” story prompted a strong rebuttal from the CIA: “We can say
      with confidence that the agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during
      that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA
      told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply

      So what did happen in Benghazi the night of Sept. 11 when Woods, Ambassador
      Christopher Stevens and two others were killed? The best way to establish the
      facts would be a detailed, unclassified timeline of events; officials say they
      are preparing one, and that it may be released later this week. That’s a must,
      even in the volatile final week of the campaign. In the meantime, here’s a
      summary of some of the basic issues that need to be clarified.

      First, on the question of whether
      Woods and others were made to wait when they asked permission to move out
      immediately to try to rescue those at the consulate. The answer seems to be
      yes, but not for very long. There was a brief, initial delay – two people said
      it was about 20 minutes – before Woods was allowed to leave. One official said
      Woods and at least one other CIA colleague were “in the car revving the
      engine,” waiting for permission to go. Woods died about six hours later after
      he returned to the annex.

      The main reason for the delay, sources said, was that CIA officials were making
      urgent contact with a Libyan militia, known as the February 17 Brigade, which
      was the closest thing to an organized security force in Benghazi. The U.S.
      depends on local security to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities, and officials
      wanted to coordinate any response to the consulate attack. After this delay,
      Woods and his colleague proceeded to the consulate.

      A final, obvious point: The “fog of battle” that night was dense not just in
      Benghazi but in Cairo, Tunis and elsewhere. U.S. officials needed better
      intelligence. That’s the toughest problem to address, but the most important.

  • TomTom

    read the comments on Disqus on Die Welt – how many Germans admire the rebels and wish German MPs would rebel against the “EU = Europas Untergang” (Europe’s Destruction). I am pleased Philip Davies and Zac Goldsmith are representing voters

  • John Davis

    Thank you for posting this, and whilst names are helpful the real discussion in my opinion is not the ‘who’ but that it happened at all. I remember very well the last time this happened to John Major and to an extent back then put this down to all those years of government by Margaret Thatcher during which few of her MP’s were prepared to go against the line taken by her as Prime Minister and leader and saw an opportunity to field their own views in public and Commons votes once the more ‘open’ administration of John Major came to power. I never thought that I would see such an open rebellion again as it lead to a Labour Party landslide under the initial very firm leadership of Tony Blair. No matter the issues and the rights and wrongs of individual MP’s opinions their job is fundamentally to stick together once a decision has been made and form a cohesive government that the British people can be proud of, it is the job of the leader to ensure that he or she airs all opinions inclusively and is seen amongst them to do so. I feel very strongly that the British people were let down last night, we are sending our chief negotiator into battle with a broken mandate, one that will be seen as unreliable and subject to change by his own party when he returns to validate the decisions he will without doubt have to make ‘on the hoof’. Our European partners will simply not take him seriously due to the again obvious situation he finds himself in, any decision he makes will be subject to change and if last night is any guide – will happen if the rebels do not get exactly what they want. Let us look back at recent history here where John Major was concerned and what he attempted to do in the aftermath of such a debacle. Firstly, he resigned as leader and stood again and hoped to be elected again, which he was. His aim an admirable one, to gain a mandate from his party that would stop dead in the water any of those that wished to follow the Labour Party into their side of the voting chamber. Did it work, well we all know it didn’t and he was forced to go to the country and was replaced by one with a firm mandate from his own party that continued for years. History tells us back before then that the British respond best to firm government with direction and clarity of purpose, look at any organization today to see that this is true, those that succeed have this and whilst not everyone within it may not agree, they still are prepared to follow the democratic decision reached within Cabinet government. Their are other parallels to be drawn with the leadership of John Major as just back then we are hearing that the rebels feel and cite that they are only following the values and wants of their constituents and thus ‘have to’ take the rebellious way, yet they have no mandate of any consequence to say this at all and it is my opinion that they are proffering their own views upon Europe and hiding behind their figment-ed constituency stated mandates. Clearly we have a fragmented Conservative Party in turmoil where Europe is concerned which leads to me to draw the conclusion that when other contentious issues arise then similar will happen again and again as it did for Mr Major. Cohesive government that we can trust we simply do not have and this stems from the Conservative Party and not their Liberal partners as it is the Conservatives that are now the underdogs in this. On the day of the General Election back then, I recall very well that John Major was enjoying a day ‘at the cricket’ and when asked about the result said that he had phoned and congratulated Tony Blair and then went on to discuss the cricket and was having an enjoyable day – I bet the first he had had for many a month. My advice to David Cameron is not to placate or offer a charm offensive to the rebels and nor to whip them further but to hit the now inevitable head on and go to the country right now and let us see what the British people once again say to a rebellious government of disunity within itself. This is not about the issues now last night has happened, it is about governance.

  • David Lindsay

    36 on the first list, 48 on the second.

    As a proportion of Conservative MPs, derisory.

    As an absolute figure, considerably fewer than the Lib Dems.

    And then just look at who some of them are.

  • Swiss Bob

    The question for the whips and the Prime Minister now is do they write these MPs off their Christmas card lists as forever-rebels, or do they launch a charm offensive that could melt even the steely heart of Peter Bone?

    The question is solely for the PM and I would posit that the only rational course is to mollify the rebels with something that they want and that he can actually deliver. Judging him on his record I’m confident he will make a bad situation worse.

  • dalai guevara

    Oh no, not another rebels list. Zac Goldsmith, Nadine Dorries et al?
    This list could be mistaken for being wrongly filed without an ‘expenses scandal’ tag on it.

  • eeore

    Hardcore Tory Rebels, now there’s a website to keep you warm in the wee small hours.

    • telemachus

      You mean the both group
      These folks do not deserve the ongoing whip
      So that leads us to question just who if governing us
      Clearly we need a general election to clear out the ‘both’ bastards, the LibDems and the residue of good boys
      Then we get a team who know how to govern with a Chancellorvwho knows about growth

      • MikeBrighton

        And a team of utter scum who will sell us lock stock and down the river to their beloved EU

        • telemachus

          Is that the same team that saved us and the US from subprime, stoked the growth of recovery and were upset to see Osborne choke it off

      • eeore

        The ongoing whip, now there’s a website to keep you warm in the wee small hours.

        • telemachus

          With comments like that you need to retire to the vicar’s site
          (have your credit card ready)

  • toco10

    The 27 countries cannot even agree very much in isolation never mind together.The EU is now unmanageable because it has become like a mini UN forever destined never to reach a consensus-there can never be a deal which works for all the major players as evidenced by the doomed Euro so the sooner the EU accepts its only meaningful role is to act as a trading group the better.This month’s discussions will fail and it will be a long and painful process before the major players accept the inevitable conclusion that by expanding the EU they have created a Frankenstein which is totally out of control.

    • HooksLaw

      The EU has failed when you measure it by by its own standards. The Euro was meant to be economically beneficial. It has proved the reverse

      • HellforLeather

        HooksLaw sums it up brilliantly here.

        France, and I think Germany, cheated on their own EU rules (GDP/deficit) before the southerners did so.

        • Andy

          They did indeed. The trouble is the Euro was built on a tissue of lies and half truths.Everything that has happened was foretold by the Eurosceptics. They have been proved right.

  • @PhilKean1

    A deal? Who now cares about getting a deal?

    The British people’s enemies have revealed themselves: and it is their own elected politicians.

    If we now allow ourselves to be bought off with deals-of-convenience – hatched in private EU meeting rooms by pro-Federal politicians who will do what it takes to help their fellow leaders out of tight spots – then we may as well give up now.

    There can now only be one aim for the British people, and the politicians who are on their side: Extrication from the Socialist EU bloc.

    • anonymous

      2 types of tory backbencher
      1) those who vote according to their voters wishes
      2) those who want to crawl up camerons a*se so they get a government job

      Pity there are more of the former than the latter

    • EJ

      David Davis, Bill Cash, Nadine Dorries – HEROES! Keep fighting – the people are behind you!

      • telemachus

        Dorries the corrupt has a screw loose

        • Fergus Pickering

          ” A screw loose.” Talking of which, went over to the desert island and had a quick peek, you wouldn’t believe it, the same five dreary people with the same dreary views droning on and on and on to each other. I think the vicars site is sponsored by the Samaritans.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Well, “Fergus”, I too had a look and counted 21 (twenty-one) different commentators posting there this week including one Fergus Pickering. So your own dreary message, under an apparently bogus pseudonym, which you have been repeating here ad nauseum for several dreary months is also bogus, wrong, false, incorrect – a lie. In fact we might consider you as Bogus Fergus, or Fergus the Bogusman, perhaps just another pseudonym that telemachus uses to talk to himself.

            A screw loose eh? Indeed.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Colonel Mustard, my dear chap, before I consider addressing your points, would you mind awfully killing vicar Peter in the library with the candlestick. thankyou.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Are you the real Fergus or the Bogus Fergus, Fergus the Bogusman?

                Sorry to disappoint you, old chap, but my killing days are long over, thank God, and even then I never had to resort to a candlestick, having instead an array of purpose designed tools generously provided to me by Her Majesty’s government.

            • telemachus

              I like Fergus’ style
              But he is a bit right wing and not one of my good friends.
              I have no doubt that the vicar, who knows about IP providers etc., can advise you
              (he should I understand be careful since a very good friend has been telling us tales from their data controller-for which she pays £35)

              • Coffeehousewall

                You are rather dim aren’t you since you are unaware that all webservers as a matter of course record the IP addresses of all visitors. Since there is no personal data asked for on the www coffeehousewall co uk site there are no issues. But being aware of IP addresses allows me to block trolls such as yourself who try to post under multiple names. It is a mystery why the Spectator allows you a free run of this site, and the continuing abuse of other people’s names.

                Many of us do indeed wonder if telemachus is a staff member or related to a staff member. There seem to be no other reasons for allowing his/her activity here.

                • telemachus

                  I use only my own an family of names
                  I may from time to time like to kid folks on that a fellow traveller is an associate but never post in their name
                  I never like to associate myself with right wing folk such as FP

                • EJ

                  Coffeehouse – keep fighting the good fight old chum. All this talk of IP addresses etc is deeply sinister – but that’s the Left all over for you isn’t it.

                • telemachus

                  It is peculiar to the Vicar
                  Ask him

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