Higher IMF contribution may prompt defeat in Commons

Julian Harris
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PRIME Minister David Cameron would face a humiliating Commons defeat if he tries to boost Britain’s contribution to an IMF bailout fund for the Eurozone, backbench MPs expect.

Chancellor George Osborne told parliament in October that the UK “will not be putting money into the bailout fund either directly or through the IMF” – yet he is coming under increased international pressure to back down on the pledge, with Number 10 refusing to rule out further contributions.

“The last time they asked the Commons to approve more billions for the IMF to bail out the euro they were down to their lowest majority,” Conservative MP Douglas Carswell told City A.M. “I suspect that if the government pushes it to a vote they may well find they cannot rely on a majority.”

Parliament passed an increase in the UK’s contributions to the IMF in July 2011, yet 30 Conservative MPs rebelled. And at the end of October, 81 Tory MPs joined a rebellion against the Coalition over a vote to grant a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

“We’d all give very serious consideration to voting against the government,” added Steve Baker MP, yesterday. “But it is conceivable [that the government would lose]. We want the government to do the right thing.”