Hello. Boris Johnson won the vote on implementing the social care cap last night. But although he currently has a working majority of 77, his majority has been reduced to 26. There were 19 Tories who voted against the government. Equally significantly, for the third time in less than three weeks, dozens of Conservatives have effectively gone on strike, refusing to vote with the government. There were 68 Conservatives who did not vote in the division last night; Last week, 74 Tories did not vote in the division on Labor’s plan to reform the code of conduct for MPs, and earlier this month 97 of them did not vote in the division on the motion to suspend the Owen Paterson report.
According to my colleague Jessica elgot, only 13 Tories were associated with Labor last night, meaning most no-shows were likely deliberate abstentions, rather than authorized absences.
The feud over costing social care costs is unlikely to end. The health and social services bill is due to go to the House of Lords, and peers are very likely to seek to amend this aspect of the bill. This morning Dame Finlay of Llandaff, an interbank peer, told the Today program:
I think when that happens in the House of Lords, we’ll have to look at it very, very carefully …. We may say in the Commons, “Can you think again? We may come back with constructive amendments to improve what is on the table right now because, clearly, there is a lot of concern.
And, on the same program, Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative chairman of the House of Commons health committee, said he believes the government should eventually reverse the mechanism used to calculate the social care cost cap (which has been criticized for offering people the poorer less protection than expected). Hunt said it was “unlikely” that the government would order a U-turn anytime soon. But ultimately there would be an overhaul, he said. He told the program:
Certainly over time people will be successful in defending the way the cap is calculated to be more generous ….
We will help fewer people protect their property than people like me hoped, than in fact the legislation I passed in Parliament in 2014 [provided for].
I think it is more difficult to sell a package to the whole country, which is why I really hope this is something the government will reconsider before the next election.
Here is the program for the day.
Morning: Boris Johnson chairs the cabinet.
10:30 am: Johnson and Keir Starmer are among those attending a Requiem Mass for Sir David Amess at Westminster Cathedral.
11:30 am: Sajid Javid, the Secretary of Health, answers questions in the Commons.
11:30 am: Downing Street is holding a lobby briefing.
After 1:30 p.m .: Members resumed their debate on the bill on health and care.
2:20 p.m .: Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Prime Minister, makes a statement on Covid in the Scottish Parliament.
2:30 p.m .: Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary, testifies before the Commons Culture Committee, first on the work of her department in general and then, from 4 p.m., on the bill on online security.
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