As you can see from the film and the sound of Big Ben, Thurrock MP Andrew Mackinlay was burning the midnight toil as we caught up with him on the Terrace at the House of Commons.
Mr Mackinlay defied the party whip to vote against the Government to support the Gurkhas.
Interrupting Home Office Minister Phil Woolas during the Gurkhas debate, Andrew Mackinlay told the Minister: –
“In Thurrock the Gurkha families are making a magnificent contribution in the schools, in business and in public life; they have enriched the Borough”.
Mr Mackinlay added: – “They would inevitably win in their campaign for the right to abode in the United Kingdom and to seek citizenship which I wholeheartedly support”. He went on to express his dismay and frustration that his own front bench could not recognise a cause which was both “just and popular, even if it were to be painted on their eyelids!”
In response (and to laughter) the embattled Minister referred to Andrew Mackinlay as “The mouth of the Thames”.
In spite of being a danger to shipping, we spoke to Mr Mackinlay and asked him about the debate.