Talk about Newsnight

Big Fat Politics Blog

After the night before, part II

  • Michael Crick
  • 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.

Comments  Post your comment

Bob Wareing didn't get thrown out of the party; he quit after Stephen Twigg got selected for his seat. Although when I interviewed him shortly afterwards, he said he would probably have quit anyway.

It's also not accurate to say that Galloway ever "led" Respect. He was their representative in Parliament and, frequently, the media, but that's hardly the same thing.

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites