One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the UK) a written notice, underlined three times to denote urgency, to members of a political party to attend a parliamentary vote.
- ‘Local councillors are almost powerless, and even the best constituency MP is unlikely to rock the boat against a three-line whip in Parliament.’
- ‘A member who defies a three-line whip runs the risk of having the party whip withdrawn; this is tantamount to expulsion from the party.’
- ‘Had all Conservative MPs obeyed the party three-line whip against the government, victory may have been narrow enough to call into question the premiership of Tony Blair.’
- ‘This legislation is top of the Government's list of priorities, and three-line whips will be used to try to get it through unamended before the election.’
- ‘Failure by MPs to attend a vote with a three-line whip is usually seen as a rebellion against the party and may eventually result in disciplinary action, such as suspension from the parliamentary party.’
- ‘Obviously there will be times when a three-line whip will called and MPs will be expected to toe the party line.’
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