Theresa May has suffered a record number of ministerial resignations since the day she walked into Number 10, but if she was hoping the worst was over, it appears that collective responsibility may still crumble away altogether.
This morning it was Huw Merriman, the PPS of Philip Hammond, who threw down the gauntlet, when he dared the Prime Minister to sack him for speaking at a People’s Vote rally. On Radio 4 this morning, the MP explained his frustration that he had been given a free vote on, and supported, a People’s Vote in parliament during the indicative vote process, but if he spoke in support of the issue he would be breaking collective responsibility.
Asked if that meant he was willing to lose his government role to speak at a single rally later today, the MP relied:
‘Yes I am. Because I think my constituents and in fact the public at large want to hear from us as MPs about what really matters. We know what’s going on inside so therefore we have to speak freely with regard to the process.
And it would be nonsensical for me to be given a free vote, to be allowed to vote the way I wished to vote, but then to explain it I would lose my position. Well, what kind of transparent politics is that? That’s politics of the madhouse and I’m not willing to go along with that.’
"It's politics of the madhouse"
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) April 9, 2019