Not completely unusual at this stage Rich-I would imagine (guessing only) that they were unhappy mainly about the sentencing aspects as the names of the ones who voted against do not seem at first glance to be those who raised concerns on legal aid? The right of the party are still not happy on that aspect and it does appear that a number of the newer MP's they list have particular concerns on the justice aspects of the legal aid proposals. The posts below are quite interesting as some people also saying legal aid cuts wrong-I think you would have to be a subscriber to the site to post so would imagine they are also Tories (?)
Rich if you go to the end of the Hansard report of the debate on the last page they list who voted for and who voted against. They don't tell you their party allegiances but you can see the names of the members voting Aye or No. Here's a link to the last page.
On "They work for you" website you can check out your own MP and their voting record and get other information on when they have spoken what they have said etc.
Will see if I can find elsewhere how you get breakdowns by party allegiance.
On quick scan through can see a lot of Lib Dems voting for the bill at this stage including Messrs Brake,Beith, Foster, Featherstone, Simon Hughes etc-doesn't necessarily mean that much at this stage because the bill has all sorts of different stuff in it-it's when you get to amendments that it really starts to matter-these are the preliminary skirmishes. A few people seem missing in action as well on a quick scan.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 30, 2011 12:45:18 GMT
I don't think we should read this too simplistically, there were a good few Tories and Liberals speaking out in defence of social welfare legal aid yesterday but the bill would not compel them to vote no on that issue alone. It's a shame that the bill is rationed accross the three areas it covers, fundamentally the question MP's would have asked themselves is does sentencing, legal aid and punishment need reform? and most would say that it does.
There's also an element of towing the party line in any vote, the presence of so many on the Tory and Liberal benches during the debate was encouraging, usually they just come flooding in when they call the vote.
There's a long way to go with this yet and listening to the debate, it strikes me that on amendments there could be significant changes. It was pointed out that there would be chop and change as this bill progresses.
The Lords is a place where it should get a much better airing.
Yesterday's debate was remarked upon as one of the most constructive to be heard in the house for quite some time.
Remember there are, I think 650 MP's in total, so a good few stayed away, 295 is of course a majority, but there's a rising tide of opposition as far as social welfare legal aid is concerned. All in my humble opinion of course.
Very true Nick-however it is not only in the Lords that amendments will be made. There are committee stages in both Houses and amendments to be made in the Commons and Lords. It is an extended process over several months so there is no point in us getting too excited at this stage.
Article in Hastings Observer on Amber Rudd their Tory MP who abstained on the bill but has told them she is going to continue to fight it-part of article and link below
"Amber Rudd MP slams cuts to legal aid Amber Rudd MP
Published on Thursday 7 July 2011 08:00
CUTS to legal aid which could decimate the free advice services on offer to the town’s most vulnerable people have been agreed in Parliament.
The Government’s controversial Justice Bill hit the headlines over plans to halve sentences for some serious crimes such as rape if the offenders pleaded guilty. Those plans were scrapped in the face of a public backlash but the bill will also slash the funding available for agencies like The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), The Hastings Advice and Representation Centre (HARC) and the Brighton Housing Trust.
Amber Rudd MP has been an outspoken critic of the Government plans and outlined her concerns in the House of Commons debate on Wednesday (June 29).
She praised the parts of the ‘tough but fair’ bill covering the rehabilitation of prisoners but rounded on the cuts to the ‘essential service of legal aid for the most vulnerable’.
“I wonder whether the cuts as currently set out fall too harshly in an area that has as its sole objective the support for people who are least able to speak up for themselves,” she said. “That area is not replete with fat cat lawyers; it is mostly populated by men and women who are committed to helping the most needy in their communities. "