Local MP Sacked Over Lords Defiance

Angie Bray loses unpaid role after refusing to back reform


Angie Bray, MP For Ealing Central and Acton, Makes her Maiden Speech
Angie Bray speaking in the House of Commons

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Angie Bray, the MP for Ealing Central and Acton was sacked from her Government role yesterday (10th July) after voting against the coalition's Bill to reform the House of Lords and make it a mainly elected chamber.

There was a three line whip on the vote which meant she automatically was removed from her unpaid role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Francis Maude. 81 Conservative MPs also voted against the Bill which would have removed titles from the Lords and Baronesses in the House, reduced it in size, cut the numbers of Bishops and meant that 80% of members would be elected for a 15 year term.

She made clear her intention before the vote when she told BBC Radio 4's The World at One, "I guess that in normal circumstances those who don't stand by the Government line get the chop so I'll wait for them to do that if that's what they want to do.

"But I don't feel that I need to resign because I don't actually feel that I'm doing anything wrong and certainly I'm not in any way going against what our own Conservative manifesto laid out."

Conservative Group Leader Councillor David Millican said:

"I fully support Angie Bray's stand against House of Lords reform, which cost her her government job.  There are far more important issues to Ealing residents than this, such as keeping open Ealing, Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals' A&E departments.

"Sure, the Lords could be reformed, but not now and not like this.

"I praise her courage for standing up for what she believes in"

Another MP with a Government job, Conor Burns, voted against the Bill and then resigned.

Liberal Democrats in Parliament have reacted with scepticism about the Tory revolt against the Bill claiming that David Cameron has privately assured rebel MPs that opposition to the Bill will not harm their careers. The Liberal Democrats are threatening to withdraw support for the reform of constituency boundaries if the Conservatives do not continue to give their full support to the Bill. The Government have dropped a vote on a "programme motion" - which would have set out a timetable for the Lords Reform Bill.

Opponents of the Bill believe that the lack of a firm timetable means that legislation on the issue is now unlikely until 2015.

July 16, 2012