Tory tactics blasted as sick Labour MP leaves hospital to vote on Brexit
Watch: Naz Shah was wheeled through Parliament by a fellow MP.
The government has seen off a rebellion by Conservative MPs over Parliament's role in the Brexit process, winning the crunch vote by 319 to 303. But at what cost to its dignity?
Labour has claimed that the tight vote meant that heavily pregnant and hospitalised MPs has to traverse the voting lobbies as Tory whips refused to allow them to be “nodded” through.
Most staggeringly, Labour’s Naz Shah voted in a wheelchair while clutching a paper sick bucket and apparently high on morphine after being released from hospital with severe back pain.
Pregnant Labour MP also Laura Pidcock also showed up in a wheelchair and subsequently told Buzfeed News:
"Getting around parliament is hard enough when eight months pregnant… This week, though, with my due date a matter of a few weeks away, and in extreme discomfort – the baby is lying on my sciatic nerve – I have had to struggle in to parliament, aided by a wheelchair at times, only to be checked out by government whips to make sure that I’m not faking it."
Heavily pregnant Jo Swinson was also spotted walking down the corridor to vote on the EU withdrawal bill, “looking not very thrilled to be there”. The Lib Dem MP is two days past her due date.
Previously, MPs have been able to take part in knife-edge votes even when they have been lying in ambulances outside the building. Usually, they are "nodded through" by rival party whips so long as they are in or near the Parliamentary estate.
The Tories denied forcing ill MPs to vote but Labour figures were not too happy that normal arrangements appeared to have been abandoned.
“The truth is the Tories refused to nod her through. This is inhumane treatment. No other workplace would condone this type of working practice. Parliament needs to modernise,” raged Dawn Buler.
And John Prescott fumed: “In all my years in Parliament - even in the 1970s - I have NEVER seen this. This is absolutely bloody shameful. I trust Labour MPs will be disgusted by these desperate and heartless Tory tactics, vote against the Government and back the meaningful vote.”