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Whipping up a storm

29 June 2011

3:58 PM

29 June 2011

3:58 PM

The mini Tory rebellion last night, 15 Tory MPs voted to allow couples to transfer their
personal tax allowance, has further strained relations between the whips office and some backbenchers. One complained to me earlier that the whips had been overly heavy-handed in their approach,
describing their behaviour as ‘quite terrifying’.

Now, these things are in the eye of the beholder and I suspect that the whips involved just thought they were doing their bit to maintain party discipline.

One other thing worth noting is that even those unhappy with the behaviour of the whips are going out of their way to say that the chief whip Patrick McLoughlin is not the problem, that he is
courteous and respected. Rather, they blame some ‘middle-ranking’ whips.

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