Police Around The Houses Of Parliament

Labour threatens Commons defeat on purdah as Tory whips threaten their MPs

3 September 2015 19:14

Labour sources have told Coffee House that they are seriously considering voting against government amendments to the EU referendum, which means ministers still face a defeat in the Commons on… Continue reading


Tory whips found offering cash to MPs

10 March 2015 10:41

A brave message from the Tory Whip’s Office last night, that sent Mr S’s pager buzzing: ‘Some cash has been found on the stairs leading up to the Ministerial Corridor… Continue reading

One of the 2010 election debates.

Clunky Conservative machine still causing unnecessary problems

15 January 2015 15:03

There is considerable frustration in the Tory ranks about the way the Prime Minister is handling the TV debates. Both those who think David Cameron should be doing the debates and… Continue reading

Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

Inside the whips’ ‘dirt books’

9 July 2014 8:55

So all three parties are to trawl their ‘dirt books’ held by the whips and disclose any evidence that they find of child abuse. The role of the whips was… Continue reading

Greg Hands

The whips are getting stronger – but will it be enough to stop Raab?

30 January 2014 11:38

So now that the Speaker has called Dominic Raab’s amendment on deportation, the government whips have a frenzied few hours ahead of them as they try to peel off rebels.… Continue reading

Image: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

How will the Tory whips handle tomorrow’s Syria vote?

28 August 2013 9:23

The government has yet to compose the motion that MPs will debate and vote on in tomorrow’s Commons debate on Syria. And while some MPs are making clear that they… Continue reading

Sir George Young

Finally, the Tory whips are cracking down on open dissent

10 June 2013 15:21

Lurk around the Palace of Westminster today and you might hear a strange creaking noise. It’s not the Commons air conditioning, which has broken and is making appropriately eerie noises… Continue reading

Sir George Young reminded PPSs at a recent meeting that they should be alerting the whips to what their bosses were up to.

Exclusive: whips ask ministerial aides to snoop on their bosses

30 April 2013 15:25

Not wanting to heap worries onto the Prime Minister when he’s just about found harmony with his party, but as well as the underused backbenchers I mentioned this morning, he… Continue reading

London 2012 - Famous Landmarks Of Iconic London

Allegations of cunning play over final passage of Justice and Security bill

27 March 2013 18:05

There have been angry mutterings from the backbenches today about the passage of the Justice and Security Bill last night, with allegations of cunning play by the whips. It appears… Continue reading

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Iain Duncan Smith will support the same sex marriage bill today. Picture: Getty

Whips try to neutralise row over gay marriage scrutiny arrangements

5 February 2013 8:43

In the next few hours as the vote on the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill approaches, the ‘undecideds’ are declaring how they will vote. Yesterday I… Continue reading

David Cameron flanked by loyal Conservative MPs at the party conference. Picture: Getty

The party of little tykes

21 December 2012 16:33

Whose fault is it that the Tory party is so rebellious? Some think it’s the beastly backbenchers, while others argue it’s the Tory leadership. I was amused to watch a… Continue reading

Andrew Mitchell in happier days as the charity wristband-clad International Development Secretary. Picture: Getty

Andrew Mitchell’s next step could be an international job

19 December 2012 8:48

The Westminster grapevine is buzzing with the latest rumours about the truth of ‘pleb-gate’. There are legal limits to what we can say. But a few things seem certain. Andrew… Continue reading

Andrew Mitchell

Was the deputy chief whip just doing his job by passing on Mitchell concerns?

18 December 2012 14:52

The latest twist in the Andrew Mitchell story is particularly intriguing. The Guardian is reporting that news of the confrontation between the police and the chief whip was passed onto Downing… Continue reading

Nadine Dorries arrives at Heathrow after her appearance on 'I'm a Celebrity'. Picture: PA

How do you solve a problem like Nadine Dorries?

26 November 2012 14:53

Nadine Dorries has returned to the UK today, with a meeting between the first evictee of I’m a Celebrity: Get me Out of Here! and the chief whip due soon.… Continue reading

Whips in Sir George Young's team have been telling Tory MPs that to rebel on tomorrow's EU budget motion would be to undermine the stability of the coalition government. Picture: Getty

Another headache for the Tory whips

14 November 2012 12:07

Today brings yet another set of reminders for Numbers 9, 10 and 11 Downing Street about how difficult maintaining party discipline is going to be. First, there’s The Guardian story… Continue reading

Can George Osborne find the money to avoid a rise in fuel tax? Photo: Getty Images.

Order returns to the Tory party on fuel duty vote

12 November 2012 23:53

Tonight was a good one for the Tory whips. What looked last week like it could have been a tricky vote on a Labour motion to delay the fuel duty… Continue reading


Government expects to lose EU budget vote

31 October 2012 16:16

While the rebel whips are still rounding up Tory MPs to vote against the government on the EU budget motion, which starts in the Commons shortly, a senior government source… Continue reading

Whips in Sir George Young's team have been telling Tory MPs that to rebel on tomorrow's EU budget motion would be to undermine the stability of the coalition government. Picture: Getty

EU budget: MPs warned revolt ‘could undermine coalition’

30 October 2012 17:45

It was inevitable that the new team of whips was going to be rather unsettled by tomorrow’s vote on the EU budget: it’s the first challenge the team has had… Continue reading

Jacob Rees-Mogg has tabled an amendment to tomorrow's EU budget debate which the whips hope to use to deflate a big rebellion. Picture: Getty

Tory whips in a flap over EU budget rebellion deploy Rees-Mogg

30 October 2012 13:32

At this morning’s Cabinet meeting, ministers discussed tomorrow’s debate on the EU budget, which is shaping up to be a big row. MPs I have spoken to who have either… Continue reading

Andrew Mitchell in happier days as the charity wristband-clad International Development Secretary. Picture: Getty

Andrew Mitchell needs to worry about his own team, not Labour’s £1,000 fine threat

18 October 2012 14:18

Determined to keep the Andrew Mitchell story alive for as long as possible, Labour confirmed this morning that next week’s Opposition Day debate will follow the party’s call for Andrew… Continue reading

Michael Fabricant resigned as a government whip in September's reshuffle. Picture: Getty

Andrew Mitchell’s predecessor is ‘sorely missed’, jokes former whip

15 October 2012 18:38

While some of his colleagues were dabbing tears from their eyes or pacing their Portcullis House offices in fury after being dumped by David Cameron in the reshuffle, Michael Fabricant… Continue reading

The new enforcers: Mitchell, Bradley, Swayne, Hands, Morgan and Johnson. Image: Carla Millar.

The new Tory enforcers

11 September 2012 19:00

Last week’s reshuffle not only brought in some interesting new junior ministers, but also some fresh faces to the Conservative Whips’ Office. Rebellions on the backbenches have become a headache… Continue reading

Andrew Mitchell is the government's new Chief Whip. Photo: Getty Images.

Appointment of new chief whip Andrew Mitchell sends clear signal to Tory rebels

3 September 2012 22:34

Andrew Mitchell’s appointment as chief whip sends out several messages to Conservative MPs. First, the decision to move a high-performing secretary of state to the whips office and the news… Continue reading

David Cameron is considering reshuffling the whips' office in September. Picture: Getty.

Reshuffling the whips won’t solve Cameron’s rebel problem

25 August 2012 14:22

One of the biggest problems that David Cameron faces at the moment is discipline within his own party. He was astonished by the size of the rebellion on the second… Continue reading

Fabian Society Conference

Cameron’s attack on Jesse Norman will backfire

11 July 2012 11:30

Jesse Norman became the hero of the hour yesterday afternoon when the government admitted defeat against the Tory rebels and dropped the programme motion on Lords reform. Norman was keen… Continue reading