One Eurosceptic Tory had an unusual reason for abstaining in the vote on an EU referendum: he didn’t want to lose a bet.I'm not sure what to make of this. There's a couple of lines that suggest he was mischievously joking to the journalist, or perhaps he was got at by the whips and so used a flippant story as cover for his lack of bottle. Or maybe it is indeed true, that he changed his vote, on a subject of national importance, to minimise his betting loses - to save 10 pounds.
Convinced that the rebellion would fizzle out, he had made a wager with a fellow sceptic that fewer than 60 Tories would vote against the Government.
The deal was that, for every rebel over the magic number, he would have to pay his colleague £10 and vice versa. When he walked down to the division lobbies last Monday night, he was taken aback by how many Tory MPs were defying the whips. He calculated that he must be a couple of hundred quid down and decided to abstain.
‘I was buggered if I was going to give him another tenner,’ he joked.
But the two sides in the debate had no idea what his motivations were for not voting. They both desperately tried to cajole him into supporting them as he sat on the Commons’ green leather benches during the division. Even the Chancellor, George Osborne, got in on the act, pushing him to back the Government.
This MP’s behaviour adds a whole new meaning to the phrase 'taking a gamble on Britain's future'.
If true it means a Tory MP was prepared to sell this country's future for a tenner.