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One of the biggest belly-laughs of the day comes courtesy of PMOS quoted by PA:
“He will make sure he does vote in future on important votes,” said Mr Blair’s official spokesman. “This was a one-off.”
This was apparently a one-off occasion on which Mr Blair has missed an important vote. Presumably, the September 1998 vote to cut student funding, the April 2000 vote on the Freedom of Information legislation, the January 2001 vote to ban hunting with dogs, the November 2001 vote on Afghanistan airstrikes, the November 2001 vote on anti-terror legislation, the February 2002 vote on single-faith schools, the March 2002 vote on the licensing of hunting with dogs, the February 2003 House of Lords reform vote, the June 2003 vote on hunting with dogs, and the December 2004 ID cards vote – all of which were variously described as ‘important’ or ‘crucial’ votes – were just one-off occasions where the PM didn’t bother voting too.
In fact, he has the worst voting record of any modern PM, turning up for just 94 out of 1250 votes in the last Parliament – a pitiful 7.5% attendance rate. Most MPs, by comparison, turn up for about 65% of votes.
So really, the fact he bothered to turn up for the first vote was more of a one-off.