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Monday, July 20, 2015

Labour MPs are revolting

The internal wrangling within the Labour Party is starting to turn into a crisis with today's Independent reporting that acting Labour leader Harriet Harman faces a revolt from her own MPs over the party’s response to the government’s welfare reforms.

The paper says that only five MPs have backed her by signing up to Labour’s official amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, which opposes the abolition of child poverty targets and changes to Employment and Support Allowance but supports a lowering of the benefit cap.

They add that the motion makes no mention of the government’s controversial move to limit child tax credit to two children per family. Harriet Harman has ordered Labour MPs to abstain on the vote if her amendment fails.

However, a rival amendment by backbench Labour MP and former work and pensions minister Helen Goodman has the backing of 58 MPs, claiming the bill would “have the effect of ignoring the plight of children in low income working households”.

Could Labour get into more of a mess? The wisdom of running an overlong leadership campaign is becoming more and more questionable by the day.

Update: All eight Liberal Democrats MPs will be voting against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill because of its impact on poverty.
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