Welsh MPs say Tory members ‘manhandled’ into supporting fracking vote
Two Welsh politicias have claimed MPs were being “manhandled” into supporting the Government during a vote on fracking in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Shadow minister Anna McMorrin wrote on Twitter that she witnessed one Conservative MP “in tears” in the lobby, while Rhondda MP Chris Bryant posted picture evidence of what he said was the moment one Conservative MP was “physically manhandled into the lobby”.
Anna McMorrin, who is the Labour MP for Cardiff North, tweeted: “Extraordinary stuff happening here during the vote on fracking which is apparently ‘not a confidence vote’.
“I’ve just witnessed one Tory member in tears being manhandled into the lobby to vote against our motion to continue the ban on fracking.”
David Linden, MP for Glasgow East, tweeted that he had “just watched the Deputy Prime Minister practically pick up a hesitant Tory MP and march him into the Government lobby” and added that it was “Astonishing”.
Labour MP Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray said he witnessed “Whips screaming at Tories” and described it as “open warfare”.
Mr Murray tweeted: “I’ve never seen scenes like it at the entrance to a voting lobby.
“Tories on open warfare. Jostling and Rees-Mogg shouting at his colleagues. Whips screaming at Tories. They are done and should call a general election.
“Two Tory whips dragging people in. Shocking.”
Meanwhile, Labour MP Tulip Siddiq described the vote as “shambolic”.
The MP for Hampstead and Kilburn tweeted: “Wow. Astonishing scenes in the voting lobbies. Tory mps literally being carried through to vote for fracking. So shambolic.”
Labour MP Chris Bryant has said cabinet ministers Therese Coffey and Jacob Rees-Mogg were among a group of senior Tories who were putting pressure on Conservative MPs to vote against the Labour motion on fracking.
Mr Bryant told Sky News that one MP, Alex Stafford, had been “physically manhandled” into the “no” lobby.
“There was a bunch of Conservative Members obviously completely uncertain whether they were allowed to vote with the Labour or against it,” he said.
“There was a group including several cabinet ministers who were basically shouting at them. At least one member was physically pulled through the door into the voting lobby. That is completely out of order.
“I know that Therese Coffey was in the group. I know that Jacob Rees-Mogg was in the group and there were others as well. The group all moved forward with one member.
“It was Alex Stafford. He was to my mind physically manhandled into the lobby.”
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