The Commons has just backed the government’s welfare cap by 520 votes to 22 against. As that figure for the Noes will include SNP MPs, this means a very small rebellion on the Labour benches – around 13. Party sources were yesterday briefing they expected around two dozen of their backbenchers to vote against.
Tory deputy chief whip Greg Hands has already taken the opportunity to tweet the names of those he saw going through the No lobbies in this vote.
13 Lab rebels on Welfare Cap: Abbott, Campbell, Clark, Connarty, Corbyn, Hopkins, Jackson, McDonnell, Mudie, Riordan, Skinner, T Watson,Wood
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) March 26, 2014
We’ll bring you the names as soon as the division lists have been released, but the question is whether the party really changed the minds of any would-be rebels before this vote, or whether spinners deliberately over-estimated the numbers so that the result would inevitably appear to be a sign that Ed Miliband has sway even amongst the more recalcitrant left wingers in his party. Either way, Labour is not in uproar over this measure, even though Miliband may be storing up trouble for himself if he does find himself back in government in 2015.
P.S. Those rebels in full:
Diane Abbott, Ronnie Campbell, Katy Clark, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn, Kelvin Hopkins, Glenda Jackson, John McDonnell, George Mudie, Linda Riordan, Dennis Skinner, Tom Watson, Mike Wood.