If you click this link, you’ll see some footage of the Labour MP for Glasgow South West, Ian Davidson, at today’s protest against the bedroom tax. The unnamed person with the camera approaches him and confronts him with a direct question.
There seems to be some doubt with regard to the veracity of the answer.
QUESTIONER: “Mr Davidson! You abstained from the [bedroom tax] vote?”
DAVIDSON: “No I didn’t.”
Q: “You didn’t abstain from the vote?”
Q: “How did you vote?”
D: “I voted No.”
Q: “You voted No?”
D: “Yes, I voted against the government.”
Q: “Did you?”
D: “Yes. So you’ve got that wrong. Thank you.”
Well, that seems absolutely unambiguous. There’s just one problem.
The image above is taken from the Public Whip website, which in turn gets its information from Hansard, the official record of Parliament. And both of those sources state that Ian Davidson was absent from the vote on the bedroom tax that was conducted on Opposition Day on February 27th – along with luminaries like Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown, Tom Harris, Michael McCann and 39 other Labour MPs.
So far as we can establish, the February 27th vote is the only one which has taken place in the Commons on the bedroom tax, or “Under-occupancy penalty” to give it its official title. [EDIT 11.20pm: A reader writes to point out that in fact there was a Commons division on the bill on October 24th last year (column 1047), which was the one that actually put the legislation into place. However, as Mr Davidson didn't vote in that one either, it provides him with no defence.]
The video appears to show that there can be no question of Mr Davidson being misunderstood or quoted out of context in respect of his actions. Either Hansard has made a mistake, or Ian Davidson is lying. We’re sure if it’s the former, Mr Davidson will be contacting the publication urgently for a correction.