The House of Commons was marred by controversy today after Tory whips refused to nod through a Labour MP on morphine in a crucial day in parliament.
MPs have gathered to debate the EU withdrawal bill as Theresa May searched for a “meaningful vote” to head off a rebellion on Brexit.
But the day has already agitated many politicians and commentators after the government decided not to “nod through” sick MPs.
Two Labour MPs coming from hospital were denied entry, including one on morphine, a source claimed.
Sky News correspondent Lewis Goodall said that the Tory whips nodded the same ill MPs through for last week’s votes and yesterday too. But have chosen not to today.
Jeremy Corbyn spokesman confirms that the Tory whips are refusing to vote through “on the nod” Labour MPs in the palace (prob in ambulances) but too ill to get to the voting lobby in person.
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) June 20, 2018
John Prescott said: “In all my years in Parliament – even in the 1970s – I have NEVER seen this. This is absolutely bloody shameful.
“I trust Labour MPs will be disgusted by these desperate and heartless Tory tactics, vote against the Government and back the meaningful vote.”
Labour sources claim Tories refusing to “nod thru” ill MPs this afternoon.
Conventionally, ill MPs can turn up and stay in car/ambulance in courtyard and be deemed to hv voted. 2 Lab MPs coming from hospital, one on morphine, source claimed.
Not today (unless deal done etc)
— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) June 20, 2018
Nodding through is the practice of bringing a sick MPs into the Commons in a car or even an ambulance, but not insisting they walk through the division lobby because a whip from the other side will vouchsafe that they are there.
According to the latest reports Labour’s Naz Shah was forced to vote in a wheelchair clutching a sick bucket and wearing a hospital bracelet because she wasn’t allowed to stay in the car park.
Naz Shah is wheeled out of the chamber after voting. Usual convention re sick MPs being ”nodded through” has been scrapped today, and it’s really not a good look. pic.twitter.com/ZSfAATPKrd
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) June 20, 2018
When questioned, John Bercow, the speaker, said nodding through has been a long-established practice. But it is not matter for him.