Deputy Chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, Steve Baker. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Tory rebels hold fire

We’re not expecting any rebellion on the Crime bill for months

The Police, Crime and Sentencing bill will get its second reading today in the House of Commons. The Labour Party says it imposes “disproportionate controls” on the right to protest and will be voting against. But potential Tory rebels are holding their fire for now. 

Influential backbencher Steve Baker says he has misgivings about some aspects of the proposed legislation but the bill is “absolutely” needed to deal with protest groups like Extinction Rebellion and others “who want to undermine our democracy”. Baker points to this report by Policy Exchange which says the “underlying extremism” of the XR campaign has been “largely obscured from public view” until now.

 He does however suggest that since the Committee Stage will not be a committee of the whole house, and since people like himself with strong views on it are unlikely to be allocated to the Committee, it will be the Report Stage before any amendments will be brought forward by Tory rebels which will be months away from now. So probably no fireworks today, or even when it gets to Committee.

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