Labour MPs yesterday split three ways in a House of Commons vote on one of the government’s key environmental proposals.
The committee vote came in the House of Commons on the statutory instrument (SI) for the fourth carbon budget, on whether or not to accept to accept the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations that total emissions in 2023-27 should be set at 1950 MtCO2 (a 50% reduction from 1990 levels).
Labour MPs Dennis Skinner and Geoffrey Robinson voted against, Nic Dakin and Ian Mearns abstained and the other Labour MPs voted in favour, as did all the Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs.
Aside from the oddity of the three-way split, the vote also shows once again how even on topics where Labour official policy is in line with the Liberal Democrats, it is Conservative parliamentarians (even if only reluctantly following coalition agreements) who are regularly a more reliable source of support than Labour ones.
As on electoral reform, the progressives in Labour are frequently very thin on the ground.