Back in February, when tallying up the Conservative MPs who rebelled on a key Article 50 amendment, we also looked at those who abstained. The motive of George Osborne, Nicky Morgan, Ben Howlett and Nick Herbert, all of whom are unhappy about Brexit, seemed pretty clear – but the Government also missed the vote of Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South and a strong Leave supporter. As we noted at the time, he was absent due to serious illness (unlike Diane Abbott’s convenient disappearing act).
With the Commons set to vote today on the same topic, after the defeat in the Lords, we’re pleased to report that it will be one vote up thanks to Wood’s return. It turns out he was suffering from sepsis – the same illness which afflicted our proprietor the year before. It can be life-threatening, and Wood was in serious danger:
He’s still on his way back to full health, and is mostly working from home in his constituency while he recovers, but will be there today to help to ensure we leave the EU. ConservativeHome welcomes him back – and commends him on his good timing.
This article originally stated that Helen Grant also abstained on the previous vote by choice. In fact, she was on authorised leave of absence due to her husband undergoing major surgery on the day of the vote. She has since returned and has supported the Government on other Brexit votes.