Brian Wilson: The weakness of May and Corbyn has been exposed
“Pairing” is less a convention than an essential tool for any Parliament. In normal times, it can ease family pressures, allow Ministers to travel, which is an essential part of government, and, most usefully, suspend the need for sick MPs to attend.
When the going gets tough, most of these bets are off. The only pairing arrangements permitted by Whips are those for which there are exceptionally good reasons and these become unbreakable.
I know of no recent precedent for the contemptible behaviour of the Tory Chief Whip, Julian Smith, who incited members of his flock to break the... read more
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