Lib Dems: Tory Chief Whip must answer to Parliament

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Government Chief Whip to make a statement to the House of Commons following reports the Conservatives deliberately broke pairing arrangements to win a tight vote on Brexit.

During the Trade Bill this week Conservative MP Brandon Lewis was “paired” with Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson, who is on maternity leave, but the MP helped Theresa May avoid a defeat by voting.

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said:

"The Conservative Government's account of Tuesday's pairing collapse is at complete odds with The Times story today.

"The Conservatives have clearly broken the pairing convention and possibly misled Parliament in calling the vote 'a mistake'.

"The breaking of that convention means we must break another. The Tory Chief Whip must make a statement to the House and be accountable for this mess."

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