What is the fastest that an MP has broken a three-line whip?
Traditionally, newly elected MPs are considered less likely to rebel against their party whip; something that Ros Taylor from LSE describes as a combination of the 'coattails effect', inexperience, and careerism.
However, in the vote on December 14th to approve the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI, 2021, No. 1416) - which implement Covid passes for nightclubs and large venues - 97 members of the Conservative party voted against the party's three-line whip, including newly-elected MP Louie French.
French, explaining his decision on Twitter, said:
I fully support the booster rollout and I will get mine ASAP thanks to
the efforts of the government, NHS, pharmacies, army and volunteers.
But, I made a clear pre-election pledge that I would not support Covid
passes for our domestic economy and voted accordingly.
He rebelled against the whip just twelve days after being elected in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election on December 2nd, and eight days after being sworn into Parliament on the 6th.
Is this a new record, or has an MP rebelled against a three-line whip from their party in a Parliamentary vote within a shorter timeframe?