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Tory whips jittery about local government finance rebellion

8 February 2016

2:42 PM

8 February 2016

2:42 PM

Communities Secretary Greg Clark is giving a statement this afternoon in the Commons on local government finance. This sounds like something rather lacking in drama, but I understand it is part of an attempt to ward off a rebellion threatened by MPs on Wednesday.

MPs will vote on a local government finance settlement motion on Wednesday, and I hear that the Tory whips are so jittery about whether they might lose that vote that they are refusing to give MPs permission to leave Westminster that afternoon. Conservative MPs have been lobbying ministers to grant fairer funding for rural councils, and are threatening to vote against the government if it does not do this.

It might be that Clark tries to address some of the MPs’ concerns in his statement this afternoon. Or it might be that Labour doesn’t manage to organise itself well enough to drive the vote close enough for a defeat, which is the other method by which the Tory whips have been managing to avoid embarrassment in the Commons.


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