Having told their MPs they ‘could go off to supper’ until a vote at 10pm, a wrong-footed Tory whipping operation was then forced to drag them all back in again this evening to avoid a defeat by rebels on the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). The MPs recalled included David Cameron — who was dressed in white tie for a dinner at Mansion House.
At the final PMQs of October, David Cameron dripped smugness when he promised MPs they would get a vote on the EAW before the Rochester and Strood by-election.
“There’s only one problem with [Miliband’s] second question. We are going to have a vote. We’re going to have it before the Rochester by-election. His questions have just collapsed.”
It was remarked at the time that this might not have been such a great idea:
Having told MPs they were going to get their vote today, it dawned on the Commons they were actually voting on a different package of measures, which did not include the EAW. By 7:00pm Labour decided to put an end to the shambolic proceedings using a little-used procedure, meaning that the whole debate could be shelved.
While the Government ultimately prevailed, Gove and his deputy Greg Hands are already getting the blame.