By Tim Montgomerie
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I've already reported that 32 Tory MPs voted against the Coalition's plan to lodge another £9.3 billion with the IMF. This money can be used by Christine Lagarde, the new pro-€uro head of the Fun, for future bailouts. The 32 Tory MPs were only part of the rebellion. At least fifty others didn't vote. There is also unhappiness at the way the whips changed the scheduling of the vote. This was what one Tory rebel emailed me:
"The government chose to sneak this through a Statutory Instrument committee which are generally for routine tinkering not £9 billion of taxpayers' money. Despite the opposition, and the whips saying they were undecided on whether to allow a debate, they sneaked it on to the order paper yesterday (it wasn’t there on Thursday or in last week’s future business) and then exceptionally scrapped the usual deferred division rules to make the vote last night rather than Wednesday. It’s all hardly new politics and doesn’t suggest that they were convinced of their own arguments. If we can find time today to debate a vote of thanks for the over-paid clerk, and a full day to reform a couple of million that is the civil list, surely we can find time to debate £9 billion!"
Over at the BBC the brilliant Mark D'Arcy is also on the case and blogs that Eurosceptic Tories are confident of defeating the Coalition if it returns to the Commons for more funds:
"The unofficial eurosceptic whips take some heart from running the Government so close. They admit to having been caught flatfooted by the timing of the vote and promise to be more alert in the future, Their expectation is that more demands for bailout cash will arrive in due course, and they will be able to defeat them, if Labour sticks to the line it took last night."