Politics Home on how the government scraped by on one of the legal aid votes
"Wednesday 7th March 2012
Pyjama peers help out on legal aid vote
Latest from Dot Commons
The Government’s triple defeat in the Lords on legal aid this evening could have turned into a quadruple defeat – if not for the magic of mobile telecommunications.
When the vote on a fourth amendment started to look close Government peers were overheard phoning friendly Lords who live in Westminster and asking them to get out of bed to come and vote with the Government.
As the vote was being counted the LabourLordsUK Twitter account tweeted:
“4th #LASPO vote lost by 7. Govt overheard phoning fellow peers lucky to live close to Westminster to get in to vote”
Whips would have had to have been careful who they called – with the scale of rebellion on the amendments they could have ended up bolstering the opposition’s cause.
But in the end their ingenuity paid off and the fourth amendment was defeated 168-175 by a chamber topped up with bleary-eyed Lords................."