YP Letters: Strange job for a whip – ordering his own MPs not to vote

Skipton MP Julian Smith is the Government's deputy chief whip.
Skipton MP Julian Smith is the Government's deputy chief whip.
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From: Bob Holland, Skipton Road, Cononley.

JULIAN Smith, MP for Skipton & Ripon, is a key politician in UK the today, but no one knows. He is the Tory party’s deputy chief whip, but rarely reports about this fact to constituents or local Press.

It is the job of the whips to organise their party MPs to win votes in support of the Government’s programme. This is almost impossible in view of the Tory split over Brexit.

Now, in a moment of constitutional history, they have taken the unprecedented step of ordering Tory MPs not to vote on the issue of Universal Credit (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, October 26).

The whips succeeded, except for one significant Tory MP in Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the House of Commons Health Select Committee who voted with Labour in calling for a “pause” to the extension of Universal Credit to many new areas. She knows from other GPs the suffering of patients caused by this policy.

Labour’s resolution was carried by 299-0. There are 317 Tory MPs and 10 from the DUP. Julian Smith and his colleagues knew they would lose the votes so Tories were ordered to abstain. Julian Smith and his pals have changed the role of the House of Commons.

Is this the first “non-voting Parliament”? I thought Brexit was about taking back control.

From: Paul Thomas, Leeds.

AS the EU continues to be intransigent over Brexit negotiations, the British government should be fully prepared to walk away with no deal rather than agree to a bad deal.

The Government would certainly have the support of the British people. According to a new Sky Data poll, a large majority of the public believes that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. A massive 74 per cent agree the country should walk away rather than accept a bad, ‘punishment’ deal. Just 26 per cent think ‘any deal is better than no deal’.

While it is be hoped that the UK and EU negotiating teams will reach a deal that benefits both sides, it is vital that we should be prepared to walk away without a deal if necessary. If the UK agrees to a bad deal with the EU, then Britain will be saddled with the terms of the deal for decades.

From: Peter Staniforth, Glusburn.

IN response to Jayne Dowle, (The Yorkshire Post, October 23), just how many times would a referendum have to be held before the result is accepted?