Free votes- power to the backbenchers

Most of the time backbench MPs do as they’re told- they obey the whips, even in this most rebellious of post war parliaments rebellion is still a relatively rare occurrence. However occasionally MPs are allowed to vote how they want- these free votes normally occur on matters of ‘conscience’, mostly feature moral issues. Yesterday backbench MPs flexed their muscles when the voted in favour if ‘three parent’ babies or more accurately embryos made with mitochondrial DNA from a second ‘mother’ when this aspect of parental DNA is diseased.

On free votes MPs do reassert the sovereignty of parliament and the ability of MPs to represent the wishes of their constituents and their own consciences rather than the whims of their parties


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