Devon MP loses Tory whip after backing Labor over energy bills | Preservatives

The Conservative Party has pulled the whip off Devon MP Anne Marie Morris after she rebelled to support a Labor initiative in parliament to cut VAT on energy bills.

Morris said she was disappointed with the move, but insisted she would not apologize for supporting efforts to tackle the rising cost of living.

She voted on Tuesday in favor of a Labor motion to put further pressure on the government in the face of rising costs of living by challenging MPs to back past pledges to cut VAT.

The motion would have resulted in the government losing control of the Commons calendar to allow VAT reduction legislation to pass, but was defeated by 319 to 229 votes. The government had a majority of 90, with Morris being the only one. Conservative MP to rebel.

The move comes amid skyrocketing energy prices, which the boss of the UK’s largest energy supplier said this week could last up to two years.

“It is deeply disappointing to have seen the whip impeached by the government, especially for simply defending what I believed to be the best interests of my constituents,” said Morris, MP for Newton Abbot since 2010..

“I think removing VAT is the right thing to do and I won’t apologize for supporting measures that would help my hard-working constituents at a time when the cost of living is rising.”

She acknowledged the government’s concern over the opposition’s takeover of House of Commons affairs, but said: “I think any disagreement over parliamentary procedure will always come after the best interests of my constituents. . “

People were struggling with their energy bills and the time to act was now, Morris added.

A treasury minister told parliament on Tuesday that the government “recognizes the pressure” the public faces on household finances and energy bills and “would continue to closely examine all options that exist.”

Simon Clarke, Chief Treasury Secretary, said: “No one in this government has any illusions about the challenges families face with their household finances and of course we will continue to closely examine all options. that exist. “

Chris O’Shea, managing director of the owner of British Gas Centrica, said on Wednesday that the energy market “suggests that high gas prices will be there for the next 18 months to two years.”

This is the second time Morris has been suspended from the Conservative Party. In 2017, Theresa May ordered the party’s chief whip to suspend the MP after using the N word at an event during a Brexit discussion.

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