MPs reject request for Commons break during Tory conference

Thursday, September 26, 2019

MPs have voted to reject the government's request for a three-day Commons recess during the annual Conservative Party conference.

The motion for a break on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week was rejected by 306 votes to 298, a majority of 17.

The party's conference is due to begin on Sunday, with Boris Johnson scheduled to speak on Wednesday; however he will now be expected to be present for Prime Minister's Questions.

Following the vote, SNP MP Patrick Grady joked that he felt for the Conservative Party members who may now be unable to attend their Manchester conference.

"My heart does bleed for the poor Conservative ministers and backbenchers who will have to come to the House now during their conference," he said.

"Successive SNP chief whips have used the usual channels to communicate the dates of our conferences over the years, and at no point have we been afforded a recess, despite our status as the third party in this place."

A senior Conservative source insisted the conference would go ahead anyway, but acknowledged that it may have to be "scaled back" in places if MPs have to remain at Westminster.

With the four-day event estimated to be worth more than £30 million to Manchester, the source said that it would be local businesses which would suffer if it was curtailed.

"If they do not allow Conservative Party conference to go ahead with a recess at the same time, it will be incredibly damaging for the economy of Manchester," they said.

Read more

Outrage as PM claims Brexit is ‘best way’ to honour murdered Jo Cox

Labour MP and Piers Morgan embroiled in Jo Cox row