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Tory 'class of 2010' quick to defy David Cameron's Whips

By Nigel Morris

More than half of the Conservative rebels who have defied David Cameron to vote against the Government were elected as MPs only last year.

The so-called 'class of 2010' is playing a central role in the simmering discontent facing the Prime Minister on a range of issues, a study next month will disclose.

The Government has suffered a revolt in 43% of Commons divisions between the General Election in May 2010 and Christmas 2011, by far the highest rate in modern times.

Tories have rebelled in 31% of votes. Particularly worrying for Mr Cameron is that more than half of the Conservative rebels have been "newbie" MPs, voting 340 times against their leader.

One new MP, David Nuttall, who led demands for a referendum on the terms of Britain's membership of the European Union, has voted against the Government no fewer than 63 times since he arrived in Parliament 19 months ago.

Two others - Andrew Percy and Mark Reckless - have also defied the Whips on more than 20 occasions.

The study by the University of Nottingham says MPs have become more rebellious and independently-minded in recent years.

The Parliaments elected in 2001 and 2005 produced record numbers of revolts, but the 2010 Parliament is already "easily outstripping" them, say researchers.

Belfast Telegraph


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