Writing is on the bedroom wall for the Tories as they lose landmark vote

The Conservative Party has been humiliated in the first major Parliamentary vote since the summer recess – on a Private Member’s Bill to exempt disabled people from the Bedroom Tax.

Liberal Democrat Andrew George’s Bill proposed modest reforms, laid out by Vox Political in an article yesterday evening.

The debate lasted nearly four hours – and would have continued if a Tory filibuster had been successful. The Conservatives wanted to ‘talk out’ the Bill but their proposal was defeated by 304 votes to 237 – a majority of 67 votes.

This set the scene for an even greater defeat when MPs were asked on whether to approve the second reading of the bill. This time the Conservatives lost by a greater majority of 75 votes – the ‘ayes’ had it with 306 votes to 231 against.

Desperately, Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to refer the Bill to a select committee, rather than the normal committee stage. It failed by 28 votes.

An even more desperate attempt to refer the Bill to a Committee of the Whole House was rejected out of hand by Deputy Speaker Dawn Primarolo as out of order.

The Tories had also tried to derail the Bill at the start of the day’s business by moving a motion to hold the debate in private. This was defeated out of hand – only three MPs voted in favour of it – but it wasted a good 15 minutes of debating time.

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves tweeted: “Labour will now seek to amend the bill to scrap the Bedroom Tax completely. But an important victory… for all those paying it today.”

So the writing is on the wall for the Conservative Party. Shipley MP and imbecile Philip Davies asked if this meant the Coalition had come to an end. Let us hope so.

In that case, this will be the first of many defeats, leading up to a rout at the 2015 General Election.

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30 thoughts on “Writing is on the bedroom wall for the Tories as they lose landmark vote

  1. Damien Willey

    Ahh its great news! Can’t believe the desperation of that idiot Rees-Mogg at the end though, talk about clutching at straws!

  2. sue sterling

    Fantastic news from someone who has to pay it.and no chance of moving because shortage in social housing.

  3. Steve Kind

    BBC bending over backwards to appease Tory Central Office with Breaking News tag:

    “Plans to change housing benefit cuts for social housing tenants clear Commons hurdle as Lib Dem and Labour MPs win vote” – Whatever happened to plain and simple “humiliating defeat for Tories”? 😀

  4. Mr.Angry

    Brilliant absolutely brilliant news thanks a million Mike for the update. Progress at last onward’s and upwards would have loved to been a fly on the wall !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wonder if pig face was present or was he in south Wales pretending to sound important.

    “Now let me be clear” another lie.

  5. Joan Edington

    I watched the end of the debate in order to see the vote. MPs seem to get ruder every time I tune in to Parliament. Admittedly the last Tory woman to talk was as boring as watching paint dry, but her colleagues showed themselves for what they are, chattering away to each other and sniggering behind her back. I assume that she was jibbering away to fill the time and make sure the last Labour speaker was cut short. Brilliant result, though I didn’t spot my own MP there to vote. My husband had written to him asking him to back the bill and received a reply this very morning saying that he couldn’t comment since he hadn’t read it!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Another commenter (on the FB page, I think) said they had contacted all the Labour MPs who weren’t going to be there and they had ‘paired’ with Tories to ensure that neither side had an unfair advantage at the vote. Was your MP one of those (of either side)?

  6. gusman

    It’s a watered down win, there will be be all sorts of ‘conditions” about who is disabled, appeals ? Don’t open the champagne yet, and it’s to appease the Scots.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      To appease the Scots?
      Well, that’s the first I’ve heard of it.
      Nobody is breaking out the champagne yet because this is really only the first step on the way to a win. The conditions will be set during the committee stage, and we know that Labour is determined to add as many other exemptions as possible.
      It’s a start.
      In these dark days, that’s worth some kind of celebration, I think.

    2. rabthecab

      Are you seriously trying to suggest this is Lab/LibDem sop in a desperate attempt to sway the #indyref? Even though they’ve realised (way, way too late) that the writing’s on the wall, I very much doubt they would use this, especially as they would surely be aware the Scottish Government has already migitated it.

  7. Paul

    Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end. for this none elected unjust Government without a mandate.


  8. Thomas M

    The Lib Dems know that if they stay with the Tories until the end, they will sink, so they’ve attacked their Tory ally. I still think most of them are doomed though.

  9. Roch

    This is a symbolic rather than an actual win. As long as the Tories are the most influential (largest) parliamentary party the Bedroom Tax will stay as is; these bastards would rather see thousands of innocent people die before admitting that they got anything so massively wrong. This bill won’t get much further, sadly. Private Member’s Bills never do unless the government are fully behind them. What happened yesterday was a step forward, but to get rid of the Bedroom Tax entirely Labour has to be party with the most MPs after the next general election.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Conservatives don’t have a Parliamentary majority – they need the support of the Liberal Democrats to pass any Bill into law.
      As far as the Bedroom Tax is concerned, the Liberal Democrats have withdrawn that support and want certain groups to be exempted.
      We saw yesterday that the Conservatives cannot, by themselves, prevent this from happening.
      Your comment that Private Members’ Bills never progress much further unless the government is fully behind them is correct, but only in the case of a single-party majority government. The current government is a Coalition and – crucially – one that is split on this issue.
      The balance of power in this case – and it’s important to say that, for now, it applies to this case only – lies with the Labour Party, which has the second largest group of MPs in the Commons. Labour wants to push for far more exemptions or the abolition of the Bedroom Tax altogether – although it concedes that, as you mention, the only way to ensure its abolition altogether is the return of a Labour government to office after the 2015 General Election.

      1. Roch

        Grass roots Liberal Democrats always hated and despised the Bedroom Tax, it was only the leadership that got behind it when they made a Faustian pact and sold their souls cheaply to the Tories (in order to get into government) at the last general election. The Lib Dem leadership facilitated this aberrations passage into law and defended it to the hilt until very recently. As far as I am concerned the whole idea of the Bedroom Tax is wrong because it allows tenants who can make up shortfalls in their Housing Benefit to under-occupy to their heart’s content; only the very poorest and most helpless people will be driven out of their homes by cutting their housing benefit and other entitlements. Surely there has to be a better and more humane way of allocating and managing what little is left of the social housing stock than driving pretty much only the neediest tenants out of their homes by cutting their entitlements?

  10. clivegsd

    Brilliant! In the efforts to vilify the Tory bedroom tax everyone ignores Labours bedroom tax (LHA) which hits disabled people and their carers in the exact same way the ConDems one does. Labour and Labour supporters hypocrisy at work

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