Tory chief whip Julian Smith must publicly explain ‘pairing blunder’ before MPs break for the summer

TORY enforcer Julian Smith must explain his role in the “pairing” row before MPs break for the summer, a senior MP has said.

The government Chief Whip must appear at the dispatch box to make a statement over claims he told up to five MPs to break a deal with opposition MPs, the Lib Dems say.

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Theresa May said the pairing scandal was an honest mistake, after MPs claim he told MPs to break deal[/caption]

Alistair Carmichael said he needs answers ahead of the autumn when more crunch Brexit votes will take place in the Commons.

Theresa May has said there was an “honest mistake” after Mr Smith told party chairman Brandon Lewis to vote while paired with Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson who is on maternity leave.

It took place on a knife-edge vote last Tuesday on vital Brexit legislation.

Pairing occurs between a government MP and an opposition MP who can’t attend a given vote.

PA:Press Association

Mr Smith allegedly told Brandon Lewis to break pairing deal with Lib Dem Jo Swinson[/caption]

But last night Lib Dem Chief Whip Mr Carmichael said: “Without satisfactory answers then the smooth working of parliament cannot be guaranteed.

“With close votes looking to be the norm for the foreseeable future having confidence that arrangements made will be honoured is essential.


“The Tory Chief Whip may of course be able to explain what happened on Tuesday, but he must do so publicly at the dispatch box in the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity.

“Tomorrow allows him an opportunity to explain and I invite him to do that.”

Parliament heads into recess on Tuesday.



 

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