After the night before, part II
- 6 Mar 08, 08:36 PM
Apologies all round today from many Westminster journalists, me included, after we slightly over-stated the size of last night’s Labour rebellion on holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. There were, in fact, 28 Labour rebels, not 29. I and everyone else, it seems, had forgotten that the Liverpool MP Bob Wareing has been thrown out of the Labour Party and now sits as an Independent.
In fact, it must be many decades since there were quite so many ‘independents’ in the Commons, of various shades. As well as Wareing, we’ve got the Wyre Forest MP Richard Taylor, and the MP for Blaeneau Gwent, Dai Davies. All three are full Independents.
On top of that, Clare Short is now 'Independent Labour', while on the Tory side, Andrew Pelling and Derek Conway, because of their different misdemeanours, are now obliged to sit as 'Independent Conservatives'.
So six Independents in all.
In addition there’s the strange case of George Galloway, who officially sits as a Respect MP, even though the Respect Party which elected him, and which he led, has now expelled him, and he represents a different Respect Party.