MPs vote against House of Lords reform

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MPS Penny Mordaunt and Caroline Dinenage rebelled against the government in the House of Commons last night.

The pair said they were in favour of reforming the House of Lords but didn’t like the way the bill had been put together.

Originally last night MPs were due to take part in two votes – one about the principles of reforming the House of Lords and the other on the timetabling motion, which would have limited the Bill’s detailed committee stage scrutiny to ten days.

After pressure from many MPs the coalition government withdrew the timetabling vote.

The second bill was passed with a majority of 338 as the Commons voted 462 to 124.

But now the bill is in limbo because the timetabling motion contained a provision to send it to its next stage.

Portsmouth North Ms Mordaunt and Gosport’s Ms Dinenage joined 91 Tory rebels in voting no, saying that they were unhappy with how the bill was put together.

Ms Dinenage said the timetabling was ‘hastily put together’.

She said: ‘It’s important that people who are against it make their views heard and I think there is a substantial number of people.’

Ms Mordaunt said she rebelled against the government ‘with a heavy heart’.

She said: ‘On a vote I think long and hard about what I do.

‘I do not take it lightly to rebel a government that’s the same colour as me.

‘If we do this we have to do it well.

‘It’s good for democracy and it’s the right thing to do. It’s with a heavy heart I rebel and I hope my constituents understand. We will carry on with reform but it has to be democratic.’

Ms Mordaunt added she was in favour of reforming the House of Lords, but not in the way this bill was put together.

She added: ‘The legislation will be scrutinised and each element that people have raised, and the concerns they have, will be looked at in detail.

‘What we have done is to ensure if we are going to change the constitution it’s done in the best way possible.’