“Government accused of “sidelining” parliament by boycotting key votes”

“MPs will hold an emergency debate tomorrow in a bid to stop the Tories “sidelining” Parliament by boycotting key votes.

Theresa May was accused of “running scared” of democracy when she ordered her MPs to skip Labour bids to freeze tuition fees and give nurses a fair pay rise last month. Her majority of just 13 led to fears she would lose the non-binding votes in an embarrassing defeat. So instead she boycotted the ‘Opposition Day’ motions, meaning they passed but were not officially a defeat for the government.

Tonight Commons Speaker John Bercow granted an emergency debate on the tactic after a request by the Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael. Mr Carmichael said it had “long been the practice of governments” to respect Opposition Day debates, adding: “The government is seeking to treat this House as talking shop.”

He said the government having to prop itself up with the hard-right DUP was historic, adding: “It’s a moment for us to assert the will of Parliament, not to see it sidelined.”

The debate will last three hours and begin late tomorrow morning.”