The Student Room Group

Tory MP Natalie Elphicke announces shock defection to Labour moments before PMQs

Awkward. Can Labour return her to the Tories?
Original post by Gazpacho.
Awkward. Can Labour return her to the Tories?


She says that she’ll stand down in the next general election apparently.

But I honestly think that defecting before a GE shouldn’t be allowed.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Talkative Toad
She says that she’ll stand down in the next general election apparently.
But I honestly think that defecting before a GE shouldn’t be allowed.

Why? It's not even like she's a member of the cabinet or anything and at least this way the public will have an imminent chance to vote on her choice, which seems more honest then waiting till after the public have voted before you make an abrupt change that no one can realistically influence.
Original post by StriderHort
Why? It's not even like she's a member of the cabinet or anything and at least this way the public will have an imminent chance to vote on her choice, which seems more honest then waiting till after the public have voted before you make an abrupt change that no one can realistically influence.


I think that you need to stick the party you were in.

if people voted for a Conservative Party candidate then they should expect that (an MP who is part of the Conservative Party) rather than said candidate then defecting to another party such as Labour become the next local or general election.

I voted for a Lib Dem candidate and they won? I want a Lib Dem MP as I voted for rather than them defecting to a party that didn’t get the majority of the vote before the next election say Conservative for example.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Talkative Toad
I think that you need to stick the party you were in.
if people voted for a Conservative Party candidate then they should expect that (an MP who is part of the Conservative Party) rather than said candidate then defecting to another party such as Labour become the next local or general election.
I voted for a Lib Dem candidate and they won? I want a Lib Dem MP as I voted for rather than them defecting to a party that didn’t get the majority of the vote before the next election say Conservative for example.

I don't think you could really enforce that idea tbh, parties themselves change leaders and manifestos too regularly to expect politicians to sign up for life when no one else seems to have this rule.

There is a bit of conflict as there will be those who say in a national election you're voting for a party, not the leader, even though people will still essentially vote for the leader anyway. But likewise at a local level you are absolutely also voting for an individual on a constituency and representation basis, which party they happen to sit with while doing this isn't really the dominating factor imo.

Just as an example, if a serving MP is gay and the and the party top brass get together and decide to install a homophobic PM, you don't think that despite clear conflicts in those positions the MP should be allowed to leave the party and join another?
Original post by StriderHort
I don't think you could really enforce that idea tbh, parties themselves change leaders and manifestos too regularly to expect politicians to sign up for life when no one else seems to have this rule.

There is a bit of conflict as there will be those who say in a national election you're voting for a party, not the leader, even though people will still essentially vote for the leader anyway. But likewise at a local level you are absolutely also voting for an individual on a constituency and representation basis, which party they happen to sit with while doing this isn't really the dominating factor imo.

Just as an example, if a serving MP is gay and the and the party top brass get together and decide to install a homophobic PM, you don't think that despite clear conflicts in those positions the MP should be allowed to leave the party and join another?


They should resign as opposed to defecting in the mist of them being an MP for that term (they should stand down until the next election. Or they defect once the next local or general election happens, whichever one comes first) and the PM needs to be properly held to account, but neither of those things will happen as UK politics is a mess right now (heading down the American route in my opinion at least whilst the Tories are still in power).
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Talkative Toad
They should resign as opposed to defecting in the mist of them being an MP (they should stand down until the next election) and the PM needs to be properly held to account, but neither of those things will happen as UK politics is a mess right now (heading down the American route in my opinion at least whilst the Tories are still in power).

If they've campaigned and been elected to represent a constituency they're probably not going to just give up and dramatically resign if a lateral move is possible and they retain local support, are they? If they resigned there would be a by election anyway which they would be sure to run in, it wouldn't wait till the next general election, but in either case the constituents will have a say on it soon.

I can see why sometimes such people decide to run as independents for a time or permanently, but if you're intent to join another party why bother lying about it? The tradition of MPs crossing the floor as it were obv goes back 100s of years, it's not a new issue.
Original post by StriderHort
If they've campaigned and been elected to represent a constituency they're probably not going to just give up and dramatically resign if a lateral move is possible and they retain local support, are they? If they resigned there would be a by election anyway which they would be sure to run in, it wouldn't wait till the next general election, but in either case the constituents will have a say on it soon.

I can see why sometimes such people decide to run as independents for a time or permanently, but if you're intent to join another party why bother lying about it? The tradition of MPs crossing the floor as it were obv goes back 100s of years, it's not a new issue.


There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it but I still don’t believe that it should be allowed (to defect as opposed to quitting or calling for a new election).
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by talkative toad
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it but I still don’t believe that it should be allowed (to defect as opposed to quitting or calling for a new election).


Push comes to shove I feel it's up to the constituency that elected them, they already have the mechanism to call for a recall & by election if they feel they aren't being represented and I'm not aware of them doing so, if they don't have a significant issue with it then who are we to object? If either of us called their office to complain we'd be asked our postcode, then politely hung up on.

(In saying that I suspect the current recall act only really applies to MPs that have been directly punished for something, I dunno if defecting counts, or a similar no confidence process exists)
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by StriderHort
Push comes to shove I feel it's up to the constituency that elected them, they already have the mechanism to call for a recall & by election if they feel they aren't being represented and I'm not aware of them doing so, if they don't have a significant issue with it then who are we to object? If either of us called their office to complain we'd be asked our postcode, then politely hung up on.

(In saying that I suspect the current recall act only really applies to MPs that have been directly punished for something, I dunno if defecting counts, or a similar no confidence process exists)


That’s somewhat true as well
Original post by Talkative Toad
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it but I still don’t believe that it should be allowed (to defect as opposed to quitting or calling for a new election).

It can't be enforced for the simple fact that say a government has a narrow majority in Parliament, blocking defections does not stop those individuals from voting against the government. You don't push for a a general election by defecting as such, you push for it when Parliament makes it clear that the government can not pass legislation.
Original post by StriderHort
Push comes to shove I feel it's up to the constituency that elected them, they already have the mechanism to call for a recall & by election if they feel they aren't being represented and I'm not aware of them doing so, if they don't have a significant issue with it then who are we to object? If either of us called their office to complain we'd be asked our postcode, then politely hung up on.
(In saying that I suspect the current recall act only really applies to MPs that have been directly punished for something, I dunno if defecting counts, or a similar no confidence process exists)

Yeah, the mechanisms for recall are quite stringent. Imprisonment or suspension from Parliament for over 10 sitting days.
Original post by Gazpacho.
It can't be enforced for the simple fact that say a government has a narrow majority in Parliament, blocking defections does not stop those individuals from voting against the government. You don't push for a a general election by defecting as such, you push for it when Parliament makes it clear that the government can not pass legislation.

That’s true
Original post by Talkative Toad

It's an interesting move, though is symbolic more than substantial. Elphicke was a controversial figure even as a Tory due to her past comments on her husband's sexual assault victims, and perhaps Sir Keir Starmer is using it as a twofold weapon against the tories by which to make her apologise for such comments (which the tories hadn't considering she still had the whip), to try and highlight some kind of moral superiority of Labour. Also, the obvious thing would be to try and gain some of the more right wing voters by showing that being right wing like Elphicke can still fit into labour's agenda and overall that the tories are incompetent and can't keep hold of their MPs.

The Tories are (somehow) trying to turn this into a propaganda victory, for example Penny Mordaunt in the commons, since it has certainly divided the labour party (as well as other issues like Gaza). However, it won't make a difference to an almost certain Labour election win and she's standing down anyway so again it is inconsequential.

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