Yesterday was a day when Parliament asserted itself against the executive. Nellie is saying Good bye to the circus, if Parliament has its way.
Conservative MPs had been placed on a three line whip to vote down Mark Pritchard’s motion. The government favoured better regulation of circus animals. Mr Pritchard favoured a ban.
It appears that some of the new intake of MPs went into the Chamber to say they too suported a ban, whilst others decided to leave Parliament in preference to voting against a motion they sympathised with. The whips sensibly decided to remove the three line whip against the motion, and it duly passed unopposed.
Mr Pritchard’s speech in the chamber told us of the pressures he had been under to change his motion. It was an interesting moment in the evolution of this Coalition government, when the government had to accept it was better not to test the mood of the Commons.