A dozen Tory MPs cast Commons proxy votes while on a corporate Euro 2020 jaunt to Wembley


A dozen Tory MPs including chief whip Mark Spencer and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace cast Commons proxy votes while on a corporate jaunt to Wembley to watch England’s Euro 2020 semi final against Denmark

  • Ben Wallace and Mark Spencer among those who went to Wembley on July 7
  • Watched England beat Denmark 20-1 thanks to Harry Kane winner in extra time 
  • It kicked-off shortly after vote on EU settlement scheme in the Commons 










A dozen Conservative MPs including senior ministers used the House of Commons proxy voting system in order to go to Wembley to watch England play in the Euros, it was revealed today.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Tory chief whip Mark Spencer – who is in charge of party discipline – were among those who attended the semi-final against Denmark on July 7. 

They enjoyed the historic match, which kicked off shortly after a vote on the settlement scheme for EU nationals to stay in Britain after Brexit was taking place in Parliament.

As well as the 12 Tories who were at Wembley, an investigation by the Politico website revealed that hundreds more MPs used proxy votes to avoid the division shortly before kick-off in north west London.

A government source said the proxy voting system was being used at the time to avoid crowding in the voting lobbies in the middle of the pandemic. 

An extra-time winner from Harry Kane that night sent England into their first major competitive final since 1966.

Ben Wallace

Mark Spencer

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Tory chief whip Mark Spencer – who is in charge of party discipline in the Commons – were among those who attended the semi-final against Denmark on July 7.

As well as the 12 Tories who were at Wembley, an investigation by the Politico website revealed that hundreds more MPs used proxy votes to avoid the division shortly before kick-off in north west London.

As well as the 12 Tories who were at Wembley, an investigation by the Politico website revealed that hundreds more MPs used proxy votes to avoid the division shortly before kick-off in north west London.

An extra-time winner from Harry Kane that night sent England into their first major competitive final since 1966.

An extra-time winner from Harry Kane that night sent England into their first major competitive final since 1966.

Which MPs were at England v Denmark?

Conservatives:

Ben Wallace – Defence Secretary

Kit Malthouse – Policing Minister

Nigel Adams – Minister without Portfolio  

Mark Spencer – Tory chief whip 

Scott Benton

Philip Davies

Esther McVey

Laurence Robertson

Mark Jenkinson

Craig Whittaker

Mike Wood 

Aaron Bell

Labour: 

Jon Ashworth

Jonathan Reynolds

Stephen Kinnock

Charlotte Nichols

Sharon Hodgson 

Toby Perkins 

 

Six Labour MPs, including frontbenchers, including shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth and shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds also attended Wembley. 

They had voted by proxy in an earlier division, but Labour abstained in the settlement scheme vote so their presence was not required.

Along with Stephen Kinnock, Charlotte Nichols, Sharon Hodgson and Toby Perkins, they enjoyed hospitality at the game. 

They told Politico they had been following whips’ advice to use proxy voting to avoid crowds in the division lobbies. 

Boris Johnson extended the proxy voting scheme initially brought in for new parents or expectant mother in June 2020 to allow  MPs who cannot make it to Westminster because they are shielding because of age or ill-health to take part 

The Prime Minister made the announcement as his Government faced widespread ridicule over a mile-long ‘socially distanced conga’ of politicians that snaked around Parliament for a vote.

It has continued in place despite the House of Commons now returning in full capacity, including for votes.

Questions are already being asked over use of the system after it was revealed that Tory MP Geoffrey Cox used it to cast votes on 18 days, including when he was working as a barrister in the Caribbean.

He took advantage of lockdown rules to cast votes as he worked 4,000 miles away on a lucrative contract in the British Virgin Islands earlier this year.

Sir Geoffrey, who is known for being the highest-earning MP, spent up to a month in the BVI working for Withers, an international law firm. 

He is thought to have been in the BVI in April and May this year. He was recorded as arriving on April 26, while the Commons was debating global anti-corruption sanctions.

A press release on the BVI government website for that day stated that Sir Geoffrey was ‘currently in quarantine’ but ‘intends to hold a series of meetings with government ministers in the next few weeks’.

He was listed among MPs eligible for a proxy vote that day.

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