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Sherwood MP and government Chief Whip Mark Spencer attended Euro 2020 semi-final instead of voting in person on EU Settlement Scheme

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An MP who is also the government Chief Whip attended the England vs Denmark Euro 2020 game while an important Commons vote took place — instead casting a proxy vote.

Conservative MP for Sherwood Mark Spencer, who is also responsible for overseeing party discipline, watched the semi-final at Wembley among 11 other Tories on July 7.

According to an investigation by POLITICO, all 12 MPs who attended the football match cast proxy votes — which is allowed under Parliamentary rules — in relation to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Mark Spencer. (16214192)
Mark Spencer. (16214192)

The other MPs were: Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse and Minister without Portfolio Nigel Adams, as well as backbench MPs Scott Benton, Philip Davies, Esther McVey, Laurence Robertson, Mark Jenkinson, Craig Whittaker, Mike Wood and Aaron Bell.

Hundreds of other MPs also voted by proxy.

A government official said proxy votes were being used by almost all MPs at the time to avoid crowding in the division lobbies. Three of the MPs contacted — Davies, Jenkinson and Bell — made the same point.

Houses of Parliament in London.
Houses of Parliament in London.

Tory MP and former International Trade Secretary Liam Fox also voted by proxy on multiple occasions while attending Wimbledon on July 5.

Several Labour MPs, including two shadow cabinet ministers — who voted by proxy in an earlier division — also attended Wembley that evening, thanks to gifted tickets.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth and the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds voted by proxy for a rejected measure which would have brought forward a public inquiry into the pandemic.

They, along with colleagues Stephen Kinnock, Charlotte Nichols, Sharon Hodgson and Toby Perkins, enjoyed hospitality packages at Wembley a short time later.

Labour MPs contacted by POLITICO re-affirmed they were following advice from party chiefs to vote by proxy to reduce crowding in physical voting lobbies during the pandemic. A party official stressed Labour abstained in the later vote that evening.

A House of Commons spokesman said: “We do not comment on individuals.”

Mr Spencer has been approached for comment.

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