Labour should thank Christopher Chope – he has done a fine job of further disgracing the Tory party

After a disastrous debate in parliament, the prime minister has announced another retreat on MPs’ standards, writes John Rentoul

Tuesday 16 November 2021 17:00
<p>Christopher Chope’s red tie ought to have been a clue </p>

Christopher Chope’s red tie ought to have been a clue

Christopher Chope, the Conservative MP and parliamentary proceduralist, forced the House of Commons to debate a subject the opposition very much wanted to discuss, namely why Tories are up to no good. “I think it’s important for this house of democracy to debate this openly,” he said.

Alicia Kearns, notionally in the same party as Chope, berated him. We have discussed this subject for four and half hours already, she told him. “How much longer does he want? Five hours, 10, 15?” It is not often that you see Tory MPs turning on each other in the Commons like this.

Jess Phillips, for Labour, was torn between admiration for Chope’s willingness to engage in vigorous democratic debate and scorn for the way he suggested to Kearns that she had failed to “apply her mind” to the principle concerned.

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