MP Chris Bryant has made claims that MPs were 'bullied' into voting (Picture: Sky News/ Shutterstock)

MP Chris Bryant has made claims that MPs were ‘bullied’ into voting (Picture: Sky News/ Shutterstock)

MPs were ‘manhandled’ and ‘bullied’ into voting a certain way in Parliament, it has been claimed.

In extraordinary scenes it was claimed by MP Chris Bryant that some members were told to vote in a particular way by ‘force’.

As the scenes were unfolding in the lobby, it was also claimed that the Chief Whip, Wendy Morton resigned.

Deputy Chief Whip Craig Whittaker, was also understood to have quit.

However in another U-turn by the government it was later announced they had both remained in their positions.

It came after the Prime Minister survived a crunch vote on her fracking plans but later chaotic scenes unfolded in the House of Commons, as her leadership continued to be hanging by the skin of her teeth.

The Prime Minister saw MPs vote by 326 to 230 to reject a Labour bid to allocate parliamentary time to consider a complete ban on fracking to extract shale gas.

But there was huge confusion in the Commons after Ms Truss appeared to ditch a plan to turn the issue into a confidence vote on her Government at the last minute.

Labour former minister Chris Bryant urged an investigation into the scenes in Parliament after he saw MPs ‘being physically manhandled into another lobby and being bullied’.

He told Commons Deputy Speaker, Dame Eleanor Laing: ‘If we want to stand up against bullying in this House of our staff, we have to stop bullying in this chamber as well.’

Bryant speaking to Sky News said the MP involved in the incident was Alex Stafford.

He said in the 21 years he has been an MP he had ‘never seen anything like it.’

Shadow minister Anna McMorrin wrote on Twitter that she witnessed one Conservative MP ‘in tears’ in the lobby.

(Picture: Sky News)

MP Chris Bryant spoke directly to Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing (Picture: Sky News)

? Licensed to London News Pictures. 19/10/2022. London, UK. Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives at the Houses of Parliament. Earlier today Suella Braverman left her role as Home Secretary. Photo credit: George Cracknell Wright/LNP

Truss has been slammed after the chaotic scenes in the lobby (Picture: LNP)

MP Chris Bryant made the extraordinary claims following a vote in Parliament tonight (Picture: Sky News)

MP Chris Bryant made the extraordinary claims following a vote in Parliament tonight (Picture: Sky News)

Jacob Rees-Mogg on Sky News 19.10.22 (Picture: Sky News)

Jacob Rees-Mogg gave his own account of the events (Picture: Sky News)

Chris Bryant shared this image from inside the division lobby (Picture: Chris Bryant/Twitter)

Chris Bryant shared this photo from inside the lobby (Picture: Chris Bryant/Twitter)

? Licensed to London News Pictures. 19/10/2022. London, UK. Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives at Parliament on her own after the news that Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been sacked over a security issue.Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

The PM is hanging on by the skin of her teeth (Picture: LNP)

? Licensed to London News Pictures. 19/10/2022. London, UK. Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives at the Houses of Parliament. Earlier today Suella Braverman left her role as Home Secretary. Photo credit: George Cracknell Wright/LNP

The PM was seen arriving at Parliament (Picture: LNP)

MPs vote on banning fracking, House of Commons 19.10 (Picture: Sky News)

MPs were voting on a fracking ban before the chaos unfolded (Picture: Sky News)


MORE : Liz Truss given glimmer of hope as MPs back fracking in ‘confidence vote’


MORE : John Bishop takes savage swipe at Liz Truss amid calls for Prime Minister to ‘step down’

Ms McMorrin, who is the Labour MP for Cardiff North, tweeted: ‘Extraordinary stuff happening here during the vote on fracking which is apparently ‘not a confidence vote’.

‘I’ve just witnessed one Tory member in tears being manhandled into the lobby to vote against our motion to continue the ban on fracking.’

David Linden, MP for Glasgow East, tweeted that he had ‘just watched the Deputy Prime Minister practically pick up a hesitant Tory MP and march him into the Government lobby’ and added that it was ‘Astonishing’.

Labour MP Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray said he witnessed ‘Whips screaming at Tories’ and described it as ‘open warfare’.

Mr Murray tweeted: ‘I’ve never seen scenes like it at the entrance to a voting lobby.

‘Tories on open warfare. Jostling and Rees-Mogg shouting at his colleagues. Whips screaming at Tories. They are done and should call a general election.

‘Two Tory whips dragging people in. Shocking.’

Meanwhile, Labour MP Tulip Siddiq described the vote as ‘shambolic’.

The MP for Hampstead and Kilburn tweeted: ‘Wow. Astonishing scenes in the voting lobbies. Tory mps literally being carried through to vote for fracking. So shambolic.’

Bryant also made accusations that Jacob Rees Mogg and Deputy PM, Therese Coffey were involved in the stunt.

Business Secretary Rees-Mogg later dismissed the reports.

He told Sky News: ‘I think to characterise it as bullying is mistaken.’

‘I did hear one person shout and use an expletive as he marched in. He said everyone should go and vote and he said that loudly.

‘But he didn’t say it to anyone individually. He said it to the assembled crowd.

‘There were some people waiting outside the division lobby who weren’t sure whether it was a vote of no confidence or not and there was some discussion on the issue.

‘It was a perfectly normal discussion.’

He said there had been ‘confusion’ after a ‘junior official’ from No 10 had relayed a message to the Government frontbench that it was no longer a confidence vote.

‘Nobody else was aware of that. Most members though it was a vote of confidence,’ he said.

Therese Coffey also denied she ‘manhandled’ Tory MPs to force them to support the Government in the fracking vote, according to sources close to the Deputy Prime Minister.

A source said: ‘Absolutely she was encouraging Con MPs into the government lobby but she didn’t manhandle anyone.’

The MP at the centre of the accusations by Bryant, Tory Rother Valley MP Alex Stafford said he had a ‘frank and robust conversation’ with ministers, following the claims.

Mr Stafford tweeted: ‘Lots of rumours flying around tonight.

‘This vote was never about fracking but about Labour trying to destabilise the country, and take control of Parliament.

‘I had a frank and robust conversation outside the voting lobbies confirming my opposition to fracking, with members of the Government, nothing more, reconfirming my position which I spoke about in the Chamber this evening.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Sir Charles Walker also attacked the ‘extraordinary’ scenes in Parliament.

The veteran Tory MP said tonight’s events ‘reflect really badly on the Government of the day’.

Asked if there was any coming back from this, Sir Charles said: ‘I don’t think so. I’ve been of that view since, really, two weeks ago. This is an absolute disgrace.

‘As a Tory MP of 17 years, who’s never been a minister who’s got on with it loyally most of the time, I think it’s a shambles and a disgrace. I think it is utterly appalling.

‘I’m livid. And do you know, I really shouldn’t say this, but I hope all those people that put Liz Truss in Number 10, I hope it was worth it.

‘I hope it was worth it for the ministerial Red Box, I hope it was worth it to sit round the Cabinet table.

‘Because the damage they have done to the party is extraordinary. I’ve had enough of talentless people putting their tick in the right box not because it’s in the national interest, but because it’s in their own interest to achieve a ministerial position.’

The drama unfolded just a few hours after Grant Shapps was selected as the new home secretary after Suella Braverman gave a nuclear resignation letter.

The former secretary of state for transport was announced at Downing Street, after a dramatic day in Whitehall.

Former secretary Braverman claimed she was quitting because of a ‘mistake’ in sending an official document from her personal email.

However, the second paragraph appears to have been a very thinly veiled critique of the prime minister.

Braverman wrote: ‘The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes.

’Pretending we haven’t made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can’t see that we had made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics.‘

‘I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility; I resign.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.