Heath’s Fuel Poverty Bill Fails in Commons

Lib Dem MP David Heath’s private member’s bill to provide help for those suffering from fuel poverty fell in the House of Commons this afternoon. It required 100 votes to pass, which it lacked thanks to the absence of most MPs and the opposition of government whips.

The full list of those who did turn up to vote is available in the “Today in the Commons” section of Parliament’s website, which provides information before the online publication of Hansard the following day.

Amongst those 89 MPs who did bother to turn up and vote for effective measures against fuel poverty, the vast majority are Liberal Democrats — and those few Lib Dems who were absent may have had genuinely pressing engagements elsewhere. But I doubt the same can be said for every single one of the hundreds and hundreds of Labour and Tory MPs who were elsewhere.

Update: Lib Dem Shadow Environment Secretary Steve Webb has written of his dismay at this development on his Webb Log.

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  • Richard Huzzey 20th Mar '09 - 9:57pm

    Robson – Thanks for the mention of Steve’s blog report. I’ve linked to it in the main article. I think he means that they won by over 80 votes as only 2 people (Labour whip Nick Brown and a lackey) voted against. There were also two Lib Dem tellers for the ayes and New Labourite Stephen Pound with some sidekick for the nays.

  • There ought to be a way for MPs to vote when they are unable to attend, perhaps by proxy and or by signing somthing before hand. There should a limit as to how often they can do so in order to make sure that they at least make an effort.

  • Nick Brown and Jim Cousins. Does no-one in Newcastle suffer from fuel poverty? Something for our PPCs to add to the leaflets, perhaps?

  • Painfully Liberal 24th Mar '09 - 9:13am

    A couple of things:

    As far as I can tell, the 89 – vote was not on a vote on the Bill but on a closure motion – a vote to finish the debate and move onto the main vote. A closure motion requires 100 votes to pass. Once the closure motion had failed to get the required support, he Bill was in fact talked out by the Minister.

    It’s also interesting to note that Early day motion 1069 in support of the Bill (http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=38173&SESSION=899) recieved 172 signatures.I haven’t had achance to compare the list of people who voted with that of signatories of the EDM but presumably there are at least 83 members who professed support of the Bill but didn’t bother to turn up and support it.

  • Alix Mortimer 24th Mar '09 - 10:34am

    You anticipate me, Painfully! Post coming on about this at lunchtime.

  • Painfully Liberal 24th Mar '09 - 11:08am

    Happy to play John the Baptist to your Messiah.

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