Website that watched MPs' votes to close
Wednesday 19 May 2010
A website dedicated to keeping a close eye on backbench rebellions in the Commons is to close after it was refused further funding.
Revolts.co.uk had been a key tool in monitoring discipline within parliament, revealing that Gordon Brown presided over more backbench rebellions in his first year as Prime Minister than Tony Blair had suffered in the entirety of his first four-year term. The site, originally set up to study the 1997 intake of MPs, had been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to carry on its work from 2001. But the ESRC turned down two grant applications to carry on the research.
"All the people involved in this project would like to carry on, but without funding, it's difficult to do projects like this," its founders, from the universities of Nottingham and Hull, said in statement on the site.
The founders had argued that Britain's first coalition Government since the Second World War made the monitoring of parliament even more important.
The refusal to provide finance also baffled the academics involved as the site, used by MPs and journalists, was described as "probably the best disseminated project in ESRC history".
Its research revealed that Labour MPs rebelled on more than a third of Commons votes during the 2009/10 parliamentary session.
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