Devon MP loses Tory whip after backing Labour on energy bills

The Conservative party has removed the whip from Anne Marie Morris, a Devon MP, after she rebelled to back a Labour move in parliament to cut VAT on energy bills.

Morris said she was disappointed by the decision, but insisted she would not apologise for supporting efforts to address the rising cost of living.

She voted on Tuesday in a favour of a Labour motion aimed at piling extra pressure on the government over the rising cost of living by challenging MPs to back up past promises on cutting VAT.

The motion would have led to the government losing control of the Commons timetable to allow legislation to cut VAT to go through but was defeated by 319 votes to 229. The government had a majority of 90, with Morris being the only Tory MP to rebel.

The move comes against the backdrop of rocketing energy prices, which the boss of the UK’s largest energy supplier this week said could last for as long as two years.

“It is deeply disappointing to have had the whip removed by the government, especially on a matter of simply standing up for what I believed to be the best interests of my constituents,” said Morris, who has been the MP for Newton Abbot since 2010.

“I believe removing VAT is the right thing to do and I won’t apologise for supporting measures that would help my hard-working constituents at a time when the cost of living is rising.”

She acknowledged the government’s concern about the Opposition taking control of Commons business, but said: “I believe that any disagreement over parliamentary procedure will always come second to standing up for the best interests of my constituents.”

People were struggling with their energy bills and action was needed now, added Morris.

A Treasury minister told parliament on Tuesday that the government “recognises the pressure” that the public was facing on their household finances and energy bills and would “continue to look closely at all the options that exist”.

Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said : “No one in this government is under any illusion about the challenges families are facing with their household finances and we will of course continue to look closely at all the options that exist.”

Chris O’Shea, the chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, said on Wednesday that the energy market “suggests that high gas prices will be here for the next 18 months to two years”.

It is the second time Morris has been suspended from the Conservative party. In 2010, Theresa May ordered the party’s chief whip to suspend the MP after she used the N-word at an event during a discussion about Brexit.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *