Parliament is due to break up for its summer break on Tuesday 24 July. But with her government in turmoil, Theresa May has pulled what might be her most pathetic stunt yet. A motion has been tabled to start the holidays early so MPs would break up on Thursday 19 July.
May won’t get away with the plan without a fight though. Labour MPs have called her out over the proposals. And there are indications that some Conservative MPs will refuse to back the plan.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell nailed the reasons why May wants to shut down parliament:
Government’s plan to close Parliament on Thursday and send MPs home early for summer is because Theresa May is fearful of Tory MPs hanging around plotting against her. It shows what chaos this government is in.Let me make it clear that I will be voting against breaking up early.
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) July 16, 2018
And shadow education secretary Angela Rayner didn’t pull any punches, labelling the motion “absolutely pathetic”:
Absolutely pathetic from the Tories, they want to shut down the commons early for our summer recess. The Tory hierarchy are afraid of their own MPs causing mischief for the PM. Strong and stable? No it's weak and frightened, they are an incompetent coalition of Tory failure 👎 pic.twitter.com/aAqzZSMB8k
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) July 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Labour MP Ian Lavery accused May of “political arrogance”:
This is political arrogance at its absolute worst. PM May packing her troops off on holiday almost a week early to avoid any further embarrassments.MPs to vote on early summer recess.#illbeatworknextweek #justsaying https://t.co/fsJnbtEJGd
— Ian Lavery MP (@IanLaveryMP) July 16, 2018
A government in turmoil
Hardly a day passes at the moment without another member of May’s government resigning. Her plans for Brexit are hanging on by a thread. Additionally, the early recess vote is happening on the same day that the Election Commission has fined Vote Leave and referred it to the police for breaking election law. It hardly seems the time to take an early holiday, as many Twitter users pointed out:
The Summer recess needs to be cancelled while the Brexit turmoil is going on. May knows she’s on the brink and trying to put stunts like this to keep her grip on power..Labour and other parties must vote this down..may must go and go now
— Chris Allum (@ChrisAllum1) July 16, 2018
As others have said: with the importance of what is going on, this summer's recess should be cancelled. MPs should be able to take some holiday but also be able to vote by proxy or by phone on anything crucial.
— Soapbox Jury (@soapboxjury) July 16, 2018
But as others pointed out, the motivation for the early break couldn’t be clearer:
Heading off a vote if no confidence ! Disgraceful with Parliament in turmoil
— karen (@k1482) July 16, 2018
And as others stated, what other profession is suddenly allowed to vote to start their holidays five days early:
— OneTenTwelve (@OneTenTwelve) July 17, 2018
This latest move from May is both pathetic and desperate. As Rayner says, it shows a “weak and frightened” PM who is running away instead of trying to work through the mess she has created. Surely we all deserve a better government than this.
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Featured image via Wikimedia/Annika Haas