63 opposition MPs failed to vote against the Bedroom Tax

Why have none of the papers run with the headline “63 opposition MPs failed to vote against the Bedroom Tax”?

Today’s papers have been filled with who voted for or against the Labour motion to abolish the proposed “Bedroom tax”.

The Guardian went with “Lib Dem MPs join Labour in voting against bedroom tax

The Mirror went with “Bedroom Tax: How Tories and Lib Dem MPs voted on the hated coalition policy

Channel 4 News went with “Government majority cut in ‘bedroom tax’ debate

All these headlines are true and accurate, but all fail to highlight what I see as the main story here – that 63 opposition MPs failed vote against the Bedroom Tax when the motion was defeated by just 26 (252 to 226)

In other words, if less than half of these opposition MPs had voted for the motion and against the Bedroom Tax the motion would have carried.

So who were these 63 opposition MPs who failed to show? Well, we know that there are 29 MPs who come from smaller parties, which leavers at least 34 Labour. However, we know that all the SNP, Plaid and Green MPs voted for the motion. This means that at least 43 Labour MPs failed to support their own party’s motion.

Would now be a good time reiterate that the motion was only defeated by 26?

Why is this not the headline?


Filed under Politics

8 responses to “63 opposition MPs failed to vote against the Bedroom Tax

  1. Tommy O'Neill

    If those labour MPs who did not vote against the bedroom tax , because they supported it , Then they should stand up and be counted , and let the
    people of this country who are suffering because of this unfair tax judge for themselves as to weather these people should be still in their positions when the voting comes arround,They are supposed to be labour MPs with labour values , what a laugh , At least our MP Mr Stephen Twigg was there fighting to get it abolished a true man of the people who always has the decency to reply when you contact him , pity their are not more like him
    The other muppets on the none elected govenment fron benchers dont even know what a hard days work is , because they have never done one in their lives, but still have the cheek to critise the unemployed who they call shirkers what a laugh this from 2 failed leaders of the conservitive party who should not even be in charge of a kindergarden , and tweedle dee and tweedle dum who were never even elected by the people of this country , but got together to have a marrige of conveniance .


  2. It was 47 only 5 have been accounted for. Ed balls in america championing the middle classes. D. Alexander at Auchvitz and two saying they were paired and another in Palastine. but what about Margaret Hodgson and Abbott 2 local MPs what was more important.


    all 6 SNP mps voted yet 10 Scottish Labour MPs didn’t


  3. Christine Usher

    Here is list of MPs who need to sharpen their excuse writing pencils
    Abbott, Diane
    Abrahams, Debbie
    Alexander, Douglas
    Ashworth, Jonathan
    Balls, Ed
    Bayley, Hugh
    Blunkett, David
    Brown, Gordon
    Bryant, Chris
    Coffey, Ann
    Cunningham, Alex
    De Piero, Gloria
    Dobbin, Jim
    Dobson, Frank
    Donohoe, Brian H.
    Doran, Frank
    Efford, Clive
    Field, Frank
    Flynn, Paul
    Gapes, Mike
    Hamilton, David
    Hodge, Margaret
    Hood, Jim
    Hoyle, Lindsay
    James, Siân C.
    Johnson, Alan
    Jowell, Tessa
    Kaufman, Gerald
    Lammy, David
    Lucas, Ian
    McDonagh, Siobhain
    McKechin, Ann
    Meale, Alan
    Munn, Meg
    Murphy, Jim
    Nash, Pamela
    Primarolo, Dawn
    Sarwar, Anas
    Spellar, John
    Sutcliffe, Gerry
    Umunna, Chuka
    Walley, Joan
    Watts, Dave
    Woodward, Shaun


  4. Jim Smith

    > Why is this not the headline?

    Because asking this question demonstrates a failure to understand how parliament functions and political leader writers, for all their failings, do tend to have at least basic grasp of parliamentary democracy.

    Opposition MPs who “didn’t turn up” were “paired”. This is an arrangement whereby MPs who cannot make a division (such as Chuka Umma, who is in Palestine) are ‘paired’ with an MP who would have voted the opposite way, neither attends and both sides are debited by one, meaning that the difference is the same, just the number of bodies walking through the lobbies reduces.

    Parliament has functioned liked this for literally centuries. It is necessary in a parliamentary system where the executive sits in the legislature, otherwise in tight votes Ministers would not be able to attend to business outwith the House itself (i.e. the Prime Minister and other ministers wouldn’t be able attend international events due to the need to attend the Commons; the secretary of defence would never go abroad and so on.).

    As Leader of the Opposition Thatcher suspended pairing in an attempt to bring down the Callaghan government. The result was chaos as, for example, the Secretary of Defence had to be helicoptered from Northern Ireland at short notice in order to stop the government falling.

    It is not a great system, and it grows out of the cabinet also being in legislature. But it’s the only fix we have while this is the case.

    > In other words, if less than half of these opposition MPs had voted for the > motion and against the Bedroom Tax the motion would have carried.

    This is objectively untrue. Sorry. But that’s how it is. Had those MPs turned up, their pairs would have turned up to and the result would have been the same. Anyone asserting otherwise is wrong,


    • Phil Irvine

      It’s not the only fix, a far simpler system would be to allow our MPs to vote online.


    • Of course the problem we have is we have no idea how many of these MPs were paired off and how many were in constituency or just not about. I tried my hardest before publishing to find information on pairing and there was nothing easy at hand for this vote. I also asked the Lab press office to provide a list but to no avail. So until I get that list….we have to tick them off one at a time.


    • I think Steve and I both understand the system, but MPs who did not vote need to explain that to their constituents, and probably they only will do that if they are asked. Now at least people who read here will know to ask


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