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50 MPs make biggest rebellion on HS2 Bill

28 April 2014

11:45 PM

28 April 2014

11:45 PM

As expected, the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill 2013-14 has passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 452 votes to 41. Cheryl Gillan’s amendment calling on the House to decline to give the legislation its second reading failed 451 votes to 50. The breakdown of who voted (and, more interestingly in this vote when some ministers have opted for a disappearing act, who didn’t vote) will take a little while to come through.

What will prevent ministerial resignations will be how the Bill progresses in the Committee stage, which will chug slower than a toy steam train. David Lidington wants further mitigation for his constituents, including the longer Chiltern tunnel that Cheryl Gillan has worked on. If this is adopted at Committee stage, the Minister for Europe may be able to stay in post rather than resign to rebel at report stage and third reading.

But either way, anyone saying that tonight’s vote is a blow for David Cameron’s authority because there was a rebellion is getting a little overexcited. These sorts of issues force MPs to vote on behalf of their constituents, particularly when a general election is approaching. The Prime Minister has still managed to secure cross-party support for the legislation thus far. Perhaps, though, the voters in some constituencies whose ministers vanished into a puff of steam today might feel as though their authority as electors has been dealt a blow.

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  • itdoesntaddup

    I’ve posted full details of the other parties’ MPs who voted against here
    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2014/04/a-list-of-conservative-mps-backing-the-gillan-amendment-on-hs2.html#IDComment823872256

    or abstained here

    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2014/04/a-list-of-conservative-mps-backing-the-gillan-amendment-on-hs2.html#IDComment823878262

    It seems that more Labour MPs failed to support the bill than Tories, and a third of Lib Dems went AWOL. Not that the BBC have noticed either fact – they concentrate on the anti and abstaining Tories.

  • Mark McIntyre

    NO2 HS2 – 50+ reasons (£bn) !

  • Frank

    So 452 MPs cannot work out that there is no economic case for building HS2? What penetrating intellects we have elected to the House of Commons!
    41 voted against the proposition, so what about the missing 166 MPs (assuming the House has 660 MPs in total), have they lost their little “cajones” as Miriam puts it?

  • WatTylersGhost

    So Dave did not vote for his own bill. Why at The Spectator do you support this hypocrite?

  • an ex-tory voter

    It is not needed, cannot be justified economically, is not wanted and it’s use will be unaffordable for the majority of the population. But still Dave ploughs on regardless.
    Why ever might that be? Is he driven by passion and principle, or is someone unseen directing him?

  • telemachus

    This bill is dead in the water
    It will not be thru by the GE
    The new charismatic Chancellor will not authorise Treasury funding

    • Alexsandr

      if the muppet is so charismatic, why doesnt he say he will kill it now?

      Oh silly me. Its committed extenditure, so the money, which doesnt exist, can be diverted to labours client electorate.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Is this vote LibLabCon’s last stand? I wonder. The monolithic bloc can’t continue to vote as a bloc forever.

    I almost feel sorry for the poor muppets. They’re all speeding along downwind, marking their near opposition, but they can feel the seas rising, and they can’t outrun what’s coming.

  • you_kid

    I believe at least 40 no. MPs should resign for not representing the interests of the electorate they claim they represent. If recall was only up and running now . . .

  • MelissaFTaulbee

    David Lidington wants further mitigation for his constituents, including the longer Chiltern tunnel that Cheryl Gillan has worked on. If this is adopted at Committee stage, the Minister for Europe may be able to stay in post rather than resign to rebel at report stage and third reading. http://b54.in/9b1r

    • Alexsandr

      surely that would cost more? at what stage to the costs being lumped on this project make it unviable? (If its viable now, which i doubt)

    • swatnan

      Liddites.

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