Notoriously secretive, most whips don’t disclose their tactics. “Whipping, like stripping, is best done in private,” said one former whip.
Well, you’d go to jail if you attempted to bribe, bully or blackmail a voter in an election, so why should such behaviour be acceptable in parliament?
“Whipping” is presented as a necessary means to enforce party discipline, but the tactics used can be a brutal awakening to idealistic young backbenchers when they enter Westminster.
Party discipline should not trump an MPs conscience or loyalty to his or her constituents.
We must end the coercive tactics used by party whips.
Let our representatives represent us.
Make all votes in parliament a free vote by secret ballot.