Earlier in the week I reported that Tory backbenchers would get a free vote next Thursday on the David Davis/Jack Straw motion defying the ECHR ruling on votes for prisoners. However, confusion reigned as to whether this would apply to the 40 parliamentary private secretaries, who are usually deemed to be part of the "payroll vote" which is expected to vote with the Government on all policy matters.
However, I have had it confirmed this afternoon that PPSs have today been told that they will be free to vote as they wish next week, making a bumper majority in favour of the motion all the more more likely. Ministers will not be able to vote for the motion but have permission to abstain, I am reliably informed.
Meanwhile, another potential spanner has been thrown into the works by St Albans MP Anne Main, who has been increasingly rebellious of late, not least over the European Union Bill. She has tabled the following amendment to original motion, reports Paul Waugh at PoliticsHome:
At end add 'and instructs the Government not to pay any compensation to prisoners and former prisoners in consequence of the maintenance of the current situation.'
We are unlikely to know until hursday whether it will get called for debate or voted upon.