MPs 'drinking heavily' before votes

Knocking them back: Many MPs drink wine in the afternoon before voting.
Knocking them back: Many MPs drink wine in the afternoon before voting.

By Ian Dunt

MPs are often so drunk they can barely stand up while voting in the Commons, an MP has admitted.

Speaking at a Policy Exchange fringe event at the Tory party conference yesterday, Dr Sarah Wollaston insisted many MPs had "no idea" what they are voting for.

“Who would go to see a surgeon who had just drunk a bottle of wine at lunchtime?” she asked.


“But we fully accept that MPs are perfectly capable of performing as MPs despite some of them drinking really quite heavily.

"It’s really shocking that so many MPs have no idea what they are voting for when they walk through the doors of the lobbies. I think we need to change the culture in Westminster.”

Reformers have long campaigned to give parliament more family-friendly hours, a move which would do something to alleviate the late-night, 'old boys' club' atmosphere of the Commons, but to little avail.

Ms Wollaston has developed a reputation for her independent spirit since entering the Commons, particularly after she waded into the debate on NHS reform by warning David Cameron that it would see the health service go "belly-up".

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