TORY MPs have been accused of a timewasting plot to save the ‘bedroom tax’ – and threatened with an all-night sitting to defeat them.

The Bill that would scrap the measure for most people affected has begun its committee stage, with its supporters hopeful of success before next May’s general election.

It would ease the pain for thousands of households in the North-East, who have lost housing benefit after being deemed to have spare bedrooms – but who are unable to ‘downsize’.

But Conservative MPs on the committee are guilty of “snide tactics” to get it bogged down in irrelevant debate, said the Bill’s Liberal Democrat sponsor.

Meanwhile, No.10 is trying to slam on the brakes by refusing to grant the “money resolution” required by any backbench Bill, Andrew George said.

Now Mr George has vowed to defeat the timewasting when the committee sits again next Wednesday, to ensure the bedroom tax moves closer to the axe before Christmas.

He told The Northern Echo: “The Tories are trying every snide tactic in the book to stop my Bill – points of order to delay the start and amendments to get the committee meeting on a different day.

“But we will sit through the night next week if we have to and show we have more stamina than they have. They can bring their sleeping bags.

“The Tories have been trying for years to repackage themselves – but the mask has slipped. They are still the nasty party, willing to kick the poor and disabled.”

A money resolution is normally granted “within days”, Mr George said, but had still not been granted – yet the Bill cleared its first stage way back on September 5.

The Affordable Homes Bill would end the removal of the so-called ‘spare room subsidy’ from disabled tenants and those who cannot be found a smaller home – the vast majority.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that just two per cent of County Durham tenants affected had moved to a smaller home – just 21 of 1,009 households.

At that point, in April, 417 of the remaining tenants had been plunged into arrears after losing up to 25 per cent of their housing benefit, an apparent insight into the hardship caused, And North-East town halls have shelled out almost £6.5m in emergency help after being hit by the ‘bedroom tax’, running out of Government funds.

Ministers claimed the measure would free up houses for large families on waiting lists, but critics said the lack of smaller properties meant it was impossible to move.

Mr George named Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) and David Nuttall (Bury North) as the Conservative MPs carrying out the filibustering.

The Northern Echo attempted to speak with the pair, but no-one answered the telephone in Mr Nuttall’s office.

Mr Rees-Mogg denied he was timewasting, insisting it was not possible to debate the Bill before the money resolution came forward – something which was out of his control.

The MP said: “The committee is being held too early. It is a waste of parliamentary time until the money resolution is available. It is procedurally impossible.”