These MPs are on the naughty list this Christmas


On Tuesday afternoon MPs will go home for Christmas, and the party leaders will be taking stock of who's been naughty and who's been nice.

Here's a list of the rebellious MPs we think will top the naughty list.

Voting with the other side is one way for MPs to demonstrate their independence, and get a better deal for their constituents.

Trying to stop this and keep everybody in line are the "Whips" of each party. Whips are MPs that act as half HR and half enforcement officer.

The whips' job is to cajole and persuade rebellious MPs to fall in line behind the leadership.

Rebellions in parliament can topple governments, and with a slender majority like Theresa May's, maintaining party discipline is an important job.

Her current Chief Whip reportedly keeps a tarantula on his desk, which we hope is a pet and not used for arm twisting (or biting!).

Picture:The menace of the party whip embodied in House of Card's Frank Underwood. The character was based on the fictional Commons Whip Francis Urquhart MP created by Michael Dobbs. Picture: (Netflix US & Canada/YouTube)

Despite the potential menace of the whips, some MPs just can't be tamed - and data compiled byPublic Whip has revealed which politicians are probably top of their party's naughty list this year.

Public Whip count "rebellions" as any time that an MP voted against the majority of their party, even if this was on a free vote, when there was no specific instruction from the party leadership or whips.

Who's naughty or nice

A lump of coal will surely be in order for Philip Davies, who as MP for Shipley has voted against his party 23 times in this parliament.

Davies is currently ahead of Philip Hollobone in terms of percentage of treacherous votes.

Hollobone was the most rebellious MP of 2010-2015, voting against the government 19.9 per cent of the time in 237 votes. You rebel you.

This isn't a particularly new trend though, Conservative MPs Davies and Hollobone both have records of consistently rebelling against their party.

In the previous parliament Davies rebelled 194 times against the government.

When asked to comment on his current lead, Davies told indy100:

I am not aware of any MP who either enjoys or sets out to rebel against their own Party, and I certainly don't. However, when the Government does the wrong thing my constituents are entitled to expect me to put their interests and that of the country above the Party interest.

The most frequent rebel on the Labour side, the MP for Newport West Paul Flynn outlined his 'backbenchers' ten commandments':

Not so much rebellious but a faithful follower of my backbenchers' ten commandments. Number four says 'Attack your opponents only when they are wrong' while respecting number seven which is 'Honour your party and extend their horizons' . I have been less tribal with the SNP initiatives because working in harmony with them when they are correct does extend Labour's horizons and is the only way to defeat the Tories.

Wild parties

When comparing the data by party, the highest number of MPs who have rebelled at least once are in the Labour camp - who also happen to have the highest proportion of rebels.

Not far behind in terms of proportion are the Liberal Democrats, but it should be remembered they only have 9 MPs.

Of the larger parties the SNP has the highest level of discipline. The SNP whips have achieved both a low number of rebellions and a low proportion of rebels amongst their ranks.

Smaller parties, in some cases one member parties, such as the Green Party of England and Wales and Ukip have had 0 rebellions.

Indy100 is grateful for this, because nobody wants to think of Douglas Carswell whipping himself.

Similarly, Sinn Féin has a zero rate of rebellion, but their attendance is also 0 per cent.

This is because Sinn Féin if elected do not take up their seats in parliament in protest of Northern Ireland's inclusion in the United Kingdom.

MPs behaving badly (by party)

Each party has it's own worst (or best) rebel, depending on your point of view.

"Most rebellious" has been calculated in terms of proportion.

Philip Hollobone has voted more times against the government in this parliament (26) but he's also attended a greater number of votes than his colleague Philip Davies.

The rebellious stage

Historic rebels on the Conservative side have included the Maastricht rebels, who attempted to defeat legislation that brought the UK deeper into the European Union in the 1990s.

For Labour, the most famous rebel is probably their current leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Islington North MP's rebellious stage was the 2005-2010 parliament, in which he rebelled on 238 votes out of 949, a quarter of the time.

The high number of rebellions by Corbyn in this period may seem like a show of independence. On the contrary there are always more rebels under governments with comfortable majorities.

Under the majority premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown, rebellions were more like a protest action than an actual attempt to stop a bill from becoming law.

Handy that

In July 2016 Corbyn committed his only "rebellion" against his own leadership when he voted against replacing the four Trident nuclear missile submarines. Technically Corbyn had given his MPs a free vote, so while he was in the minority of his MPs it was not a rebellion against the whip.

Other MPs presumably on the naughty list are the rebels who Theresa May has assigned her chief whip to personally monitor: George Osborne, Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry.


The three were excluded from May's government, and as a result the threat of demotion is unavailable to Conservative whips.

What repercussions the naughty list could hold, will have to wait until MPs return to the Commons on 9 January 2017.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

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