Labour MP and Baby of the House Nadia Whittome was forced to resign as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) last night after opposing a bill which she says would “effectively de-criminalise torture”.
The MP for Nottingham East broke the whip by not abstaining on the vote on the Overseas Operations bill, which cleared the house with a comfortable majority.
Former leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those to vote against it after warning that it would “violate the essential rule of law principles, including with regards to the absolute prohibition of torture”.
Many of his former backbench also joined him in opposing it, including the recently sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey, Richard Burgon and Diane Abbott.
The #OverseasOperationsBill violates essential rule of law principles, including with regards to the absolute prohibition of torture.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 23, 2020
It also fails to protect the safety, well-being and rights of our military personnel.
For these reasons, I have voted against it.
“I haven’t resigned”
Three Labour MPs were forced to resign from junior roles supporting Keir Starmer’s front bench after they voted against the bill.
Beth Winter and Olivia Blake joined Whittome in opposing it after they were informed that if they voted against the Bill they would be resigning their roles.
But shown The Mirror’s story about her forced resignation Ms Whittome told ITV’s Robert Peston that she hadn’t resigned.
She said: “I haven’t resigned.
“It was a one-line whip to Abstain, I thought the Bill was a matter of conscience.”
She said concerns from veterans charities, and human rights groups led her to vote against it.
“Biggest mistake so far”
The reaction to her departure has been quite sobering for the Labour Party.
Here’s what people had to say:
Awkward. pic.twitter.com/cWAdlWoz14— Matt Thomas #GrassrootsVoice (@Trickyjabs) September 23, 2020
As a 24 year old sorely aggrieved that the better future my generation wanted was thwarted last December, I found it inspirational that there was an MP – and a very good MP – my own age. Sacking Nadia Whittome is horrific. pic.twitter.com/6xJ6moFs2T— Paperon de’ Paperoni ? (@amphitryoniades) September 23, 2020
So much love for Nadia Whittome. ❤️— Faiza Shaheen (@faizashaheen) September 23, 2020
If it’s true that Nadia Whittome has been sacked then this is perhaps the biggest mistake that has been made by the Labour leadership to date. A young, rising star who worked during the first wave of this crisis as a carer. Sacked? Big mistake.— Liam Young (@liamyoung) September 23, 2020
Nadia Whittome has essentially been sacked for voting against war crimes.— Mark Hebden (@unionlib) September 23, 2020
The Labour Party is the Party of War criminality again then.
Heaven forbid that Labour falls into a Tory trap of making them support human rights and oppose torture— rachel shabi (@rachshabi) September 24, 2020