Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless led a rebellion of 40 Conservative MPs yesterday in defeating the government in a vote on the European Union budget. Mr Reckless argued that increases in the UK's contribution to the EU could not be justified at a time of austerity measures at home.
The rebels, joined by Labour, won by 307 votes to the government's 294. Mark Reckless said the rebel success showed parliament was listening to the public. He said he always thought they would win - but it was a narrow victory.