Grant Shapps’ parliamentary bag carrier Jake Berry MP (above) has spent his morning attempting to introduce a bill — backed by ministers — designed to overturn a High Court ruling stating that “The saying of prayers as part of the formal meeting of a Council is not lawful under s111 of the Local Government Act 1972”. It may come […]

With the catering and retail operations of the House of Commons haemorrhaging cash at a rate of £492,000 per month, proposals to sell tickets to visit Big Ben are back on the table. As a magnet for tourists, a plans to charge £15 per head were kiboshed by MPs in 2012 after complaints that climbing St Stephen’s Tower is “part of […]

While it’s always gratifying to see a Tory minister make a fool of themselves at the despatch box — former Tesco director Baroness Neville-Rolfe had peers of all sides laughing at her last week during exchanges on ticket touting — word has since reached Scrapbook of a particularly amusing exchange overheard in the corridor: BIS Official: There will always […]

Faced with rowdy MPs, one of speaker Bercow’s favourite refrains is: “the public don’t like it”. As if to prove his point … There's a fracas in public gallery #pmqs. Tried to lip read man as he's dragged out. Believe he's shouting "Answer the b***** questions" — Emily Thornberry MP (@EmilyThornberry) October 22, 2014 Apparently a […]

Cheers for new Heywood and Middleton MP McInnes — but none whatsoever for ‘Kipper Carswell. Contrary to briefing earlier in the day, Lib Dem MP Bob Russell had his role downgraded, standing at the back as Carswell was introduced by Tory Peter Tapsell instead. Was he leant on by his party? Douglas Carswell tells me […]

Parliament is back — now counting the first elected UKIP MP among its number.  And Douglas Carswell has found two sufficiently independent-minded MPs to ‘introduce’ him to the chamber — in the form of Zac ‘MP recall’ Goldsmith and (Sir) Bob Russell. This is due to happen shortly after Home Office questions. Having taken the Manor of Northstead on 28 […]

With 36 year-old Tory Chris Kelly quitting parliament after just one term, a parliamentary counterpart has observed he is among nine 2010 intake MPs to jump. While Kelly has declined to offer a reason — a lack of advancement in the Commons and a considerable salary boost on offer at his dad’s truck company, for which he was moonlighting while […]

listen to ‘Nigel Evans on his acquittal’ on Audioboo A Channel 4 News report broadcast in the wake of Nigel Evans’ acquittal revealed that a third of parliamentary aides claimed to have been sexually harassed — victims of a Westminster culture which allegedly turns a blind eye to MPs making drunken passes at young staff. But breaking his silence […]