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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The broken promises of Labour MPs

Labour are very quick to allege that the inevitable compromises of coalition politics are broken promises on the part of the Liberal Democrats. What are we supposed to make therefore of the fact that hundreds of Labour MPs and peers are reputed to be actively opposed to and campaigning against their own manifesto promise to introduce voting reform into British politics?

The Independent says that Ed Miliband has been hit by a growing Labour revolt against his support for a change in the voting system as more than 200 Labour MPs and peers back the existing first-past-the-post process.

This includes members of the Shadow Cabinet, who it appears did not support all the policies they fought the last election on. The latest rebel is shadow Health Secretary John Healey, who has branded the alternative vote system as "perverse".

The paper says that another 19 opposition frontbenchers have come out for the No campaign. Nine former Cabinet ministers are among the Labour peers who oppose AV – including Lord Hutton of Furness, Lord Reid of Cardowan, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Lord Irvine of Lairg, Lord Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull and Lord Boateng of Akyem. However, eight Shadow Cabinet ministers have backed Mr Miliband's stance – Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Liam Byrne, John Denham, Peter Hain, Sadiq Khan, Tessa Jowell and Hilary Benn. Others have yet to decide.

So much for the potency of the Labour manifesto, when the party cannot even ensure compliance whilst it is in opposition.
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