Since being elected in 2001, I have never, until today, voted against my party on a three-line whip. That is something I’m extremely proud of.
Just think about that. He's saying 'my party, right or wrong'. And for the first time in eight years, he's decided to break with that belief. Why he should be proud of behaving in a robot like fashion for nearly four years is something I find difficult to comprehend. A party system inevitably requires whipping, and I make no bones about that - and politicians must recognise that they are elected under a party label, but for an MP to be proud of never having voted against the party line is something to be remarked upon. It is even more bizarre when I know Tom to be someone who does indeed have a mind of his own.
So why is he proud of this? I have to say that if I had been an MP for nearly eight years and had only ever voted for the party line I wouldn't feel proud. I'd feel slightly ashamed.