Ilford Labour MPs defend decision to abstain in welfare vote
- Credit: Archant
Both of Ilford’s Labour MPs abstained from voting against the welfare and reform bill’s second reading on Monday, after the opposition’s amendment was rejected.
This comes as research by homelessness charity Shelter shows unemployed families will not be able to afford to live in Redbridge under the bill’s proposed benefit ceiling.
It reduces the cap to £23,000 in London and also limits child tax credits to two children.
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting said the bill was “a massive political trap”.
He explained: “It is really two pieces of legislation. It includes three million apprenticeships and we do not want George Osborne to paint Labour as anti apprenticeship.”
You may also want to watch:
The new MP said he thought building more affordable houses would combat the housing benefit issue.
Mr Streeting added: “Since becoming an MP I have consistently fought the government cuts to tax credits which have affected 3.2 million families.”
- 1 NHS nurse assaulted at east London hospital
- 2 Redbridge parents' group donates six new laptops to families in need
- 3 One in 20 may have had Covid-19 last week in Redbridge, Newham and Barking and Dagenham, figures suggest
- 4 Restaurant faces losing licence after allegations of illegal club nights during pandemic
- 5 Residents furious after car park and lift flooded since before Christmas
- 6 Queen's and King George hospitals appeal for volunteers to support end of life patients
- 7 Restaurant stripped of its alcohol licence
- 8 Covid deaths increase at Queen's and King George hospitals this week
- 9 Growing public support for tougher pet theft sentences
- 10 Double murder accused remanded in custody over ‘brutal’ stabbings
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes refused to give details on why he chose to abstain, saying: “I do not want to get drawn into discussions on Labour policy, I voted for the Labour amendment and went with the whip.”
The amendment opposed the abolition of child poverty targets and changes to employment and support allowance, for people who cannot work because of illness or disability, but made no mention of the changes in child tax credits.
Mr Gapes added: “The Conservatives have a majority of over one hundred over Labour – voting against it in the second reading becomes academic.”
In total 48 Labour MPs defied the whip to vote no to the bill, including leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayoral hopefuls Sadiq Khan and David Lammy.