Confusion reigned on the Commons committee corridor this afternoon as Tory MPs accidentally voted for Labour amendments to the Fisheries Bill.
After much back and forth between the party whips, a decision was taken to allow the clause – which would require the UK Government to consult the recreational fishing sector – to be quietly withdrawn.
Tory MP Charles Walker, who was chairing the committee, apologised for the gaffe.
“It would be easy for me to deflect the blame onto colleagues but I should accept a large amount of the blame myself”, he said.
Lots of embarrassed Tories in the #FisheriesBill committee today as every Tory MP accidentally votes for a Labour amendment they technically oppose. NC2 on recreational fishing is great but now witnessing their desperate attempts to reverse this stunning Labour victory! 🙂 pic.twitter.com/pEr9L1FxUT
— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) September 15, 2020
Labour’s fisheries spokesman Luke Pollard poked fun on social media afterwards, saying: “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.”
An MP on the committee told us it was just “procedural nonsense” and was normal in the back and forth of a Bill.
They added: “Two things you should never see made. Laws and sausages.”
The Fisheries Bill creates the powers for the UK to operate as an independent coastal state and manage its fish stocks outside European Union rules following the end of the transition period.