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By Paul Goodman
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If Labour's failure to vote against the 50p rate cut they've criticised was yesterday evening's Commons farce, a small number of Conservative MPs helped to provide the serious fare.

Graham Brady, Douglas Carswell, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Edward Leigh, David Nuttall and John Stanley – voted in favour of the budget, but have also been listed as having abstained on a specific later vote on child benefit.

The proposed removal of the payment from 40p rate taxpayers was watered down in the budget, but not enough for some backbenchers, evidently.

Chope has been forceful on the matter recently, holding a debate in Westminster Hall.  Sir John Stanley accounced this week that he is leaving will leave the Commons at the next election.

Cautionary note: counting absentions is a tricky business, since the absence of an MP from the division lists can mean that he's abroad, or has been slipped, or has simply missed the vote.

Hat-tip: Sky's Sophie Ridge

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