The shadow secretary of state for Scotland has said he witnessed “jostling, shouting and swearing” among Tory MPs.
20 October 2022
Labour will use “every mechanism” at its disposal to topple the Conservative government, shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray has said.
The Edinburgh South MP said the Tory party was in “complete shambles” amid growing pressure on Prime Minister Liz Truss.
It follows claims of Tory MPs being “manhandled” into supporting the Government during a vote on fracking in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted on Wednesday that the scenes were “an utter shambles” and echoed calls for an election.
Speaking on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Murray said he witnessed “a lot of jostling, shouting and swearing” as he passed through the lobbies to vote in favour of his party’s motion to continue the ban on fracking.
While the Labour MP said he did not personally see MPs being “manhandled”, he said: “I did see absolute chaos. A lot of jostling, people shouting, swearing at each other. A real dreadful atmosphere in terms of the voting lobbies.
“It was really just unedifying scenes and something I’ve never seen before in my 12 years in Parliament.”
He said rumours of replacing the incumbent Prime Minister with a joint ticket of Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt would be unacceptable and said the fear of a general election was keeping Ms Truss in power.
“It’s clear that the model authority would be to go to the country if you replace the Prime Minister again and I think that’s what’s keeping Liz Truss in power at the moment,” he said.
And the Labour party will do everything it can to bring an election forward, he added, but he noted it would be a difficult step since the task lies in the hands of the Prime Minister.
He said: “We’ll continue to use every single mechanism we can in Parliament to bring this government down and force a general election because the country can’t afford for this to continue.”
“I think when people look at their mortgage renewals, they look at their energy bills, the cost of living, this government is certainly in office and not in power and definitely not in control.”
The reports of Tories being forced to vote with the Government has been strongly denied by senior government ministers.
However, it is understood that Tory MPs who did not vote could face disciplinary action.
A statement from No 10 sent at around 1.30am said: “The whips will now be speaking to Conservative MPs who failed to support the Government.
“Those without a reasonable excuse for failing to vote with the Government can expect proportionate disciplinary action.”