Absentee Lords start to attend (when it affects their financial interests)
Despite their lacklustre attendance and poor voting records, peers with financial interests in the health industry are turning up in record numbers to help the Tories push through their fiercely contested Health and Social Care Bill. Known within Westminster as “backwoodsmen”, these Conservatives have close links to private healthcare, meaning they stand to benefit financially from reforms set to part-privatise the NHS.
Attendance data from The Public Whip highlights the cabal of healthcare-linked Tories who suddenly remembered they were parliamentarians:
While these regular absentees miraculously turned up for the healthcare debate, they quickly reverted to type — with none of the fiendish cohort sticking around for the Localism Bill debated directly after.