By Matthew BarrettFollow Matthew on Twitter. Yesterday, the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced plans to bring the Territorial Army – or Army Reserve, as it will be known in future – up to the size and standard of a more professional level than the reputation the TA has sometimes had as being "weekend soldiers". He […]
By Matthew BarrettFollow Matthew on Twitter. Conservative Friends of Israel is an influential affiliate group of the Conservative Party which contains perhaps the largest number of Conservative MPs of any group in Parliament. It exists to promote understanding of and support for the State of Israel in the Conservative Party, and its membership reaches the […]
By Paul GoodmanFollow Paul on Twitter Even the most cursory glance at today's ConHome newslinks demonstrates that Philip Hammond had a torrid time in the Commons yesterday. I think it is worth listing a selection of the questions he was asked from his own backbenches, and I hope and believe that the one below is […]
By Matthew BarrettFollow Matthew on Twitter. After last week's reshuffle of the Secretaries and Ministers of State, and this week's reshuffle of Parliamentary Private Secretaries, it's possible to investigate the state of a dying breed: the backbenchers who've always been loyal. The list below features the Conservative MPs who meet the following criteria: Are not currently […]
By Matthew BarrettFollow Matthew on Twitter. We know that 91 Tories voted against the Lords Reform Bill last night. That's the big, headline grabbing figure – the biggest rebellion in this Parliament.
By Matthew BarrettFollow Matthew on Twitter. Philip Hammond's statement to the House this afternoon announcing cuts to the Army was bound to be a challenging time for the Secretary of State for Defence. The announcement signals the beginning of a long transformation for the Army, and jobs will undoubtedly be lost as a result of the […]
By Tim MontgomerieFollow Tim on Twitter News reaches me that Sir John Stanley joins James Arbuthnot as a sitting Tory MP who has announced they won't seek re-election. In the past these retirements would have produced much excitement among those on the candidates list. In this parliament – with the number of MPs set to fall […]
By Joseph Willits Follow Joseph on Twitter Yesterday was Phillip Hammond's first opportunity to answer defence questions. Hammond's address to Parliament also followed a recent, first trip to Afghanistan, where the Defence Secretary marked Armistice Day with 3,000 British troops at Camp Bastion. Whilst in Afghanistan, Hammond said: ''British troops are making significant progress in Helmand to […]
> More on the Defence Select Committee report on Afghanistan here.
By Matthew Barrett On Monday, William Hague opened a debate about the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Questions about Libya, UN and NATO involvement came up initally, but events in Israel and Palestine – especially the new agreement between Hamas and Fatah – were also raised, with Conservative members firmly advocating that Hamas […]
By Jonathan Isaby After the intensity of and the interest in the debate on Libya yesterday, another motion on the order paper – which would have created huge media interests were it not for international events – was quietly passed after a short debate. It was on the thorny issue of MPs' pay and, contrary […]
by Paul Goodman I list below every question asked by a Conservative MP yesterday in response to the Prime Minister's Commons statement about Libya. For better or worse, I haven't cited his replies in every case, but his answers on regime change, the arms embargo and the International Criminal Court are of special interest, and […]
by Paul Goodman I've glanced back at the Prime Minister's Commons statement on Monday about Libya, and found the following: Richard Ottoway asked whether defence co-operation with Gaddafi was misjudged. Edward Leigh demanded no further cuts in the Royal Navy. James Arbuthnot asked about Hamas's refusal to hold elections in Gaza. John Baron inquired what […]
By Jonathan Isaby Yesterday saw a debate in the Commons on the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review. Several Conservative MPs took the opportunity to raise questions about the deal signed this week between David Cameron and President Sarkozy for Britain and France to share aircraft carriers. James Arbuthnot, who chairs the Defence Select Committee, […]