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In a hugely embarrassing moment, Tory MPs in the chamber unwittingly nodded through a Labour amendment in the Fisheries Bill Committee. Labour put forward an amendment, listed as Clause 2, to the Bill which would have required the Secretary of State to consult the recreational fishing sector when making any changes to the legislation.
The amendment was read out by the chair of the committee, Tory MP Charles Walker, and given a resounding “aye, aye” by Tory MPs.
Mr Walker then moved onto Clause three of the Bill before realising the mistake, with an error on the Committee script to blame.
He said: “Sorry, hold on, sorry, we have an issue here.”
Confusion then presided over the chamber with Labour and Tory whips left to sort of the mess.
Labour’s fisheries spokesman Luke Pollard took to social media to make fun of the gaffe on the opposite benches.
He wrote on Twitter: “Lots of embarrassed Tories in the Fisheries Bill committee today as every Tory MP accidentally votes for a Labour amendment they technically oppose.
“The clause on recreational fishing is great but now witnessing their desperate attempts to reverse this stunning Labour victory.”
Following a lengthy break, the amendment was then asked to be re-run at the dismay of Labour.
In a point of order, Mr Pollard said: “I seek clarity on why the vote is being rerun… the disorderly part of it was that the Conservatives not spotting it was a Labour clause they were moving and voting on.
“Therefore the confusion has arisen because they weren’t following the Order Paper sufficiently.”
The chair of the committee then apologised and accepted responsibility for the chaos after forgetting to tell Labour to formally move the clause in the first place.
Mr Walker said: “I do apologise, I should have spotted it myself… the key point was that I didn’t invite Labour to move its new clause.
“For that I apologise to the shadow minister and I apologise to colleagues.”
Mr Walker then invited Labour to move the amendment but the party refused, knowing it would be voted down.
Reacting to the events, Labour’s fisheries spokesman said the committee chairman had “spared Tory blushes”.
On Twitter, he added: “Embarrassed Tories have found a way of explaining why a Tory Minister and Tory MPs moved and voted for a Labour amendment they oppose.
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“The very kind Tory chair of the Committee has spared Tory blushes by claiming it was his fault.
“Tory MPs escape questions why they voted for it.”
This will Bill will move onto the next stage on Thursday.
Express.co.uk has contacted Number 10 for comment.
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