Not swivel eyed at all: Tories camp out for four nights for capital punishment
Conservatives MPs have camped out for four days in parliament to force a debate on radical right-wing policies, including a ban on the burka in public, the privatisation of the BBC and bringing back the death penalty.
Forty-two proposed bills will now be subject to debate in parliament after a small group of Tory MPs camped outside the House of Commons' public bill office since Sunday to make sure they were front of the queue for private members bills.
"It was four nights in a rather hot, square stuffy room right under Big Ben – so not conducive to a good night’s sleep," Kettering MP Philip Hollobone told the Telegraph.
"This is a way for us as MPs to ensure that these popular policies wanted by so many of our constituents get parliamentary airtime over the months ahead."
Other proposals in the package include renaming the late August bank holiday 'Margaret Thatcher Day', abolishing the office of deputy prime minister currently held by Nick Clegg and the reintroduction of national service.
One proposal would give license fee payers shares in the BBC – a move which would effectively privatise it – and ending the criminal penalty for non-payment of the license fee.
The 42 bills also include plans to end subsidies for wind farms and the ringfencing of foreign aid.
Some are less controversial, such as a transferable tax allowance for married couples and a referendum on same sex marriage, although even these policies would be unpalatable to anyone in parliament outside of Tory backbenchers.
Peter Bone, one of the MPs behind the ploy, said: "This is serious attempt to deliver policies that the British public really want. There are ideas here that could form the basis of a future Conservative manifesto."
The other Tory MPs involved in the sit-in were David Nuttall and Christopher Chope.