Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Looking back: Six years on ... the Devonwall vote

After spending much of today debating Devonwall at "County Hall," I have just realised that today is also the sixth anniversary (1st November 2010) of a particular Westminster vote on the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill.

The vote was on an amendment to protect parliamentary boundaries in a number of areas including parts of Scotland, Anglesey, the Isle of Wight and Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly. It was moved by the late Charles Kennedy, but was voted down by 315 votes to 257 votes.

As I recorded at the time, all six Cornish MPs voted to support Kennedy’s amendment, but unbelievably they only won the support of twelve other Conservative / Liberal Democrat colleagues which included Scottish MPs and the member for the Isle of Wight. The MPs were as follows:

Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)
Philip Davies (Shipley)
George Eustice (Camborne and Redruth)
Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)
Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth)
David Nuttall (Bury North)
Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) 

Liberal Democrat
Andrew George (St Ives)
Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay)
Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South)
Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West)
Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute) - teller
Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall)
Bob Russell (Colchester)
Adrian Sanders (Torbay)
John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)

Over 95% of Coalition MPs voted against the amendment. This included Conservative MP Mark Prisk who spent the months leading up to the General Election masquerading as a Shadow Minister for Cornwall.

The political tally was as follows:

For the amendment (257): Conservative (8), Democratic Unionist Party (2), Independent (1), Labour (228), Liberal Democrat (9), Plaid Cymru (3), SNP (5) and SDLP (1).
Against the amendment (315): Conservative (273), Liberal Democrat (42).

Please note that (4) tellers are not included in the above totals.

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