Pendle MP is new Government whip

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson will be playing a prominent role in ensuring every vote counts in the new Parliament now that he has been promoted to join the Government Whips’ Office.

Mr Stephenson, who was re-elected to his Pendle seat for a third time in June, faces a tough task in his new role considering the fragile balance of power in the current hung parliament.

The Government Whips’ Office is responsible for administering the whipping system, which ensures that MPs attend and vote in Parliament.

Whips report to the Prime Minister on any possible backbench revolts and the general opinion of MPs within the party.

The role of the whips will be more important than ever in the coming Parliament, since Theresa May’s snap General Election backfire left her with fewer MPs, meaning every vote will be on potential knife edge.

That could mean a tough task for Pendle’s MP who will be working with colleagues to ensure that his party’s MPs attend every possible vote.

Such is the close nature of the new Parliament, there has been speculation of MP holidays being cancelled or curtailed.

Mr Stephenson, who was first elected in 2010 and lives in Colne, has previously served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to four different Ministers, most recently as PPS to Boris Johnson, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for the past year.

Speaking following his appointment Mr Stephenson said: “I am very pleased to have been asked to join the Whips’ Office.

“Representing Pendle will of course remain my top priority, but I am looking forward to this new challenge.

“Given the outcome of the General Election, we all need to work together in Parliament to get legislation through where there is consensus and I hope to play a part in that working closely with the government and opposition Whips’ offices.

“It is a real honour to be appointed and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”