Fewer than half of MPs vote for real-terms cut to pensions and social security – but Tory move passes easily as Starmer whips Labour to abstain again. Only 13 Labour MPs rebelled
Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne was one of only thirteen Labour MPs to rebel against Keir Starmer’s order to abstain – yet again – on a Commons vote on a Tory move to impose a real-terms cut on pensions and other social security benefits.
The motion, which mandated an increase of only 3.1% – well below inflation, which continues to rise – passed by 298 votes to 29.
Byrne had tweeted before the debate about the impact the Tory plan would have on the millions of poor and vulnerable people in this country:
The thirteen Labour MPs, according to the Hansard record, were:
Long Bailey, Rebecca
McDonnell, rh John
Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Andy McDonald – who resigned from the front bench rather than obey Starmer’s instruction to speak against a decent minimum wage at Labour’s conference last September – acted as ‘tellers for the noes’, meaning they did not get a vote but would have been in that voting lobby otherwise. Details of any ‘paired’ MPs, who don’t vote to balance out the votes of opposing MPs unable to attend, are not yet known. Jon Trickett is on medical leave, but tweeted support for Byrne’s comment.
Keir Starmer appears addicted to abstention, presumably in the hope of not being seen to stand for anything Tory voters don’t like – including the Conservatives’ bill to make agents of the state immune to prosecution for crimes, including rape and murder, committed while undercover. He also ordered MPs to abstain on the bill to criminalise democratic protest with penalties of up to ten years, before eventually u-turning after police violence toward women at the Clapham Common protest.
Even one Tory MP voted against the Tory measure – several spoke against it but did not vote against.
His cowardice is a direct insult and injury to the millions in poverty, hunger and insecurity under a Tory government with which he seems all too aligned – and it makes the continuation of those hurts all the more certain, as voters switch off in disgust at the lack of a real alternative.
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