The leaked list* of Labour MPs who whips feared might rebel over the 42 days terror issue makes great reading.

Not only the for the descriptions of certain backbenchers (eg John Cummings – “usually persuadable”).

But, startlingly, for its list of MPs who think the idea of extending pre-charge detention a flawed idea but are prepared to go along with the government for the sake of unity.

Step forward the following:

Joan Ruddock (“Feels case not proved 42 days plucked from thin air”).

Barry Gardiner (“Will vote with Govt but unhappy”)

and best of all

Andrew Slaughter (“Will support but thinks barmy”)

* Someone has just passed me the list, which was in the Sunday Times this morning. Sadly it’s about three months old but still provides some good insights. As of January the whips reckoned on 50 rebels and another 50-odd waverers.

I’ve cross-checked the list with those who voted against extending detention of terrorists to 90 days during the Blair days. (The idea was rejected in a rare gov defeat and we were left with 28).

Rather a large number of those expected to vote against 42 days did not vote against 90 days


Nick Ainger, Karen Buck, Martin Caton, Colin Challen, Ann Clwyd, Jim Devine, Andrew Dismore, Frank Doran, Bill Etherington, Austin Mitchell, Mohammad Sarwar, Jim Sheridan, Mark Todd, Keith Vaz, Rudi Vis.

There has been some traffic the other way. But – it seems – not so much. No wonder there’s an all-out attempt to drum up support ahead of the crucial vote in about a month.

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