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‘Jurassic embarrassment’: Tory MPs attack colleague who blocked Paterson report approval – UK politics live | Politics


Good morning. Ministers were hoping last night to be able to finally bury the Owen Paterson issue, with MPs set to nod through a motion finally approving the standards committee report saying he broke the rules on paid lobbying, which Boris Johnson originally ordered his MPs to object to. But, as my colleagues Aubrey Allegretti and Rowena Mason report, the embarrassment was extended for another day when the maverick and reactionary Tory backbencher Sir Christopher Chope blocked the approval of the report.

This means that MPs will instead debate the motion for an hour today, before voting on it in the early afternoon.

Chope does not seem to have given a public explanation for what he did yet, but he has a long record of objecting to parliament approving measures without proper scrutiny. That is one of the reasons why he devotes much energy to slaughtering private members’ bills.

As Aubrey reports, Tory MPs are livid with their off-message colleague, whose behaviour last night allowed allowed opposition parties to say “after two weeks of this scandal, the government couldn’t even perform their sleaze U-turn successfully”. (That was the SNP, but Labour said much the same.)

Aubrey Allegretti
(@breeallegretti)

Fury mounting over Chope objection.

A minister tells me: “He has been for many year a jurassic embarrassment – tonight he crossed a line. The man should retire. If he comes into the team room, colleagues would want to say two words to him and the second word would be ‘off’.”


November 15, 2021

Aubrey Allegretti
(@breeallegretti)

*tea room


November 15, 2021

Aubrey Allegretti
(@breeallegretti)

2019 intake particularly livid:

“He’s an embarrassment to us all.”

“Very annoying. Just keeps issue rolling on. And handing Labour a freebie.”

“The guy is a dinosaur who should’ve considered retiring a long time ago.”


November 15, 2021

Aubrey Allegretti
(@breeallegretti)

Ministerial aides already venting fury:

WhatsApp message from PPS Paul Holmes to 109 group of new Tory MPs calls Chope a “selfish twat” – and PPS Sara Britcliffe quotes comment saying: “This.”


November 15, 2021

Aubrey Allegretti
(@breeallegretti)

In same chat, MP Brendan Clarke Smith says he’s “sick and tired of having my time wasted and people being able to behave like this for god knows how many years”.

Jamie Wallis says Chope should “do a term in a marginal”.

And Gary Sambrook says Chope has “no awareness at all”.


November 15, 2021

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Boris Johnson chairs cabinet.

10.30am: Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, speaks at an Institute for Government event.

11.30am: Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

After 12.45pm: MPs begin a one-hour debate on the standards committee report into Owen Paterson.

2.20pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, makes a statement to MSPs on Covid.

2.30pm: George Eustice, the environment secretary, gives evidence to the Commons environment committee on labour shortages in food and farming.

2.30pm: Lord Burnett of Maldon, the lord chief justice, gives evidence to the Commons justice committee.

4.15pm: Amanda Pritchard, the NHS England chief executive, speaks at the NHS Providers conference.

Also, at some point today, Johnson is meeting the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in No 10.

There is also what is likely to be a riveting select committee hearing this morning on Yorkshire’s county cricket club’s response to the racism allegations made by Azeem Rafiq. Rafiq is giving evidence at 9.30am, and my colleague John Ashdown is covering it on a separate live blog here.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

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Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com





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