Friday, May 14, 2010

57 Liberal Democrat MPs - or 58?

I have just spotted a comment by Lib Dem blogger Stephen Glenn on a posting by J. Arthur MacNumpty.

One of the subjects discussed in the posting is the victory in Belfast East by Naomi Long of the Alliance Party. MacNumpty speculates that she may take the Liberal Democrat whip in the Commons and Stephen comments:
I fully expect Naomi to take the Lib Dem whip in Westminster.
Does anyone know if she has done so yet?


iain said...

Jonathan, The very question I've asked. So far I've had not response.

But I noticed my old friend Rodney Smith (NLYL Vice Chair 1974)wrote a very anti coalition letter to the Guardian. Rodney returned to Belfast twenty years ago and supported Ms Long. I've no idea if he represents a wider anti coalition view amongst the Alliance

Manfarang said...

I think Naomi has already joined a coalition of the 13 Northern Ireland MPs who will take up their seats at Westminster to resist the funding cut from the central government.

Frank Little said...

I believe that Naomi Long has stated that she will not take the LD whip in the Commons.

Simon Titley said...

There won't be a "Lib Dem whip". One consequence of the coalition agreement is that the Conservatives and Lib Dems have jointly established a government whips office. Today's appointment of Alistair Carmichael and Lord Shutt makes it clear that both are government, not Lib Dem, whips.

Anonymous said...

Is the agreement of the NI parties a formal voting bloc? I'd assumed that while co-operating with its regional neighbours the SDLP would retain its alignment with Labour.

The Alliance was reported after the election to be opposed to any Liberal Democrat with the Conservatives, so some modification of their relationship was expected.

Does this count as the first anti-coalition defection from a 58-strong LibDem-Alliance bloc? :)

Manfarang said...

I should have written "coalition".
Ms Long has called for the NI MPs to work together to avoid a massive cut in the central government grant.
The Alliance has not been part of the Liberal Democrats at Westminster so there has been no "defection".

iain said...

So what happens to Lord Alderdice? He has sat with the Lib Dems in the Lords. Will he be doing what the Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard asks or is this the first split?

Manfarang said...

You are right Iain I was only thinking about the Commons.