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Look out, May: individual MPs now call the shots in parliament

The backbenchers are lobby fodder no longer. Instead, they hold the balance of power

By Martha Gill   August 2017

Photo: ESB/Rex/Shutterstock

Not so long ago, a reader’s letter used to appear in broadsheets almost every week complaining that politicians were too obedient. They were sheep, the letter would grumble, too invested in their own careers to stand up to the party whips or speak their minds, voting through any half-baked nonsense ministers plonked in front of them. Whatever happened to those robust MPs of years past, who followed their consciences and would challenge their governments if it was the right thing to do? Bring them back!

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