New government role for Corby MP will stop him taking part in parliamentary debate

Tom Pursglove out on the campaign trail earlier this year.
Tom Pursglove out on the campaign trail earlier this year.

Corby MP Tom Pursglove says his new Government role will give him enhanced access to ministers and decision makers but he is no longer allowed to ask questions or take part in Parliamentary debates.

The MP has been appointed as an assistant Government whip, meaning he will be part of the team trying to keep fellow Conservatives voting with the Government.

On his website Mr Pursglove, who also represents East Northants said: “I am hugely honoured to have been asked to serve in the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s, first Government as an Assistant Government Whip.

“In short, whips are appointed by each party in Parliament to help organise their party’s contribution to Parliamentary business and a big part of the role is to ensure that the Government has the number of votes required in order to pass its business.

“Given the enormous task of delivering Brexit on the 31st October in the context of an extremely challenging House of Commons, with the Government only having a very small majority, this work will perhaps be more important than ever.

“Day-to-day, whips also frequently act as the ‘tellers’ who count the votes in divisions, and are also largely responsible for arranging the business of Parliament, alongside the Leader of the House.

“In terms of my role as your local MP, the only real difference local people will see is the fact that I am no longer permitted to speak in Parliamentary debates, ask questions in the House, or sign Early Day Motions (EDMs); albeit I never signed EDMs as a backbench MP anyway, given they have virtually no impact in policy making terms, and raising concerns both verbally and in writing with Ministers on behalf of my constituents is much the more effective approach.

“However, serving in this role is a real opportunity to raise those same issues and concerns my constituents have at the very highest levels of Government, to be sat around the table helping to shape Government policy in several Departments, and to have enhanced access to Ministers across Government, over and above that which a backbench MP would have.

“Nothing else changes and I will still be working on local issues, concerns and constituency cases, day in, day out, and be around and about in our community, taking part in local visits to our schools and businesses, holding my weekly advice surgeries, and getting out there knocking on doors.”

A number of other Northamptonshire MPs have also been given roles in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first Government.