Labour’s 43 welfare sanctions rebels

March 19, 2013 9:54 pm

Update: Actually – there were more than 40 Labour MPs rebelling tonight – there were 43. 40 MPs rebelled at the 2nd reading by voting against the Bill, and 35 voted against the 3rd reading. There were a total of 43 MPs rebelling against the Labour whip.

The vast majority of Labour MPs abstained on the Jobseekers Bill this afternoon – as they were whipped to do – despite the fact that the Bill sought to protect sanctions for a system that Labour thinks is worse than useless. But a significant number of Labour MPs – 44 (almost 1 in 6) – voted against the Bill – when the “payroll” vote is removed, that’s a significant proportion of the backbenches.

Here is the list of Labour’s sanctions rebels – first up on the second reading (40 rebels):

And here’s the list of rebels at the third reading (36 rebels):

  • http://twitter.com/McnabbTeddy Teddy Mcnabb

    take away the expenses scoundrels and whats left, [ no pun intended lol]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Parma/578831001 Andrea Parma

    They did third reading immediately after this vote. 3 more MPs voted against it there: Fabian Hamilton (Leeds NE), Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) and Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Parma/578831001 Andrea Parma

    They did third reading immediately after this vote. 3 more MPs voted against it there: Fabian Hamilton (Leeds NE), Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) and Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

    edit: I see the third reading has been added now. So ignore this comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Parma/578831001 Andrea Parma

    They did third reading immediately after this vote. 3 more MPs voted against it there: Fabian Hamilton (Leeds NE), Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) and Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

    edit: I see the third reading has been added now. So ignore this comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    I find this decision really disturbing, and I think the leadership have really underestimated the anger that is being felt by ordinary, usually loyal, local party members. BYRNE MUST GO and the sooner that message hits home, the better. The man is not only an incompetent disgrace and liability, but he is in the wrong party. Haven’t his CLP got any courage? They should get rid, and soon

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

      What can a CLP do to deselect a sitting MP, especially a frontbench figure?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

        There needs to be a vote and at that vote they can decide to open nominations to others – it happened to Jane Griffiths MP. Frankly, he needs to be dismissed from the Shadow cabinet and it made clear he has no future and then he’d leave the commons to go and make money.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

          Miliband needs the courage to do it. The left would back him. He’d look like a strong leader.

          • rekrab

            Alex, Miliband bottled it. I’ll only vote labour now if someone like John McDonnell gets the leaders post.

          • reformist lickspittle

            A ridiculous overreaction.

            However bad today was – and I agree with those who think Byrne (who, as pointed out, seems to have few supporters even amongst Blairites over this) has run out of time as a front bencher – the hard left is as unelectable as it always has been, and always will be.

            Ed is capable of learning from this – the first significant rebellion of MPs under his leadership?? – and I very much hope that he does so.

          • Clare Sheldon

            I don’t think it is an over-reaction to be furious with HM Opposition for failing to oppose an unconstitutional piece of legislation – I think it shows respect for the rule of law!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            And it would give him credibility in the party. It must be done though, as there is anger I haven’t witnessed for a long time

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

            From reading around it really does look like the fury at Byrne isn’t just limited to the traditional old left. Plenty of Progress types also unhappy. He’s got no friends now, and by the sound of it many in the PLP are openly hostile to him. Time to go.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Parma/578831001 Andrea Parma

          There’s the so called “trigger ballot” that all sitting MPs wishing to stand again must undergo. Every CLP branch (both ward branches and local affiliates) vote to reselect the sitting MP or to trigger the ballot (basically opening up the selection to others as you indicated). If the sitting MP carries 50+1% of the branches, he/she is reselected.

          It’s rare to lose it but it happened in a few occasions in the past. As you mentioned, Jane Griffiths in Reading East. That year Helen Clarke lost the trigger in Peterborough but survived the open selection. Bob Wareing lost it twice (in 2001 when he survived and then before 2010 when he was ousted). Frank Cook also lost it before 2010 GE. And Tom Cox lost it in Tooting before deciding to retire (when Sadiq Khan was selected).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

            So if the good people of Birmingham Hodge Hill have the guts to do it, they can? Given that he very nearly resigned to contest the non-existant Birmingham Mayoral election…

    • John Reid

      Mike, how can you call for someone to be in the wrong party when you wasn’t a Labour Party member between 2003 and 2010, how would you have felt of the Labour Party refused to let you join in 2010

  • Chilbaldi

    Worth noting – this is quite a balanced list of MPs. Not just the awkward squad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

    Byrne must be removed. This was such a huge mistake, his position is now untenable.

    • John Reid

      Give me one explanation why his position is untenable, other than you don’t like what he stands for

      • Clare Sheldon

        He’s refused to oppose the government’s attempts to break the law.

  • http://twitter.com/McnabbTeddy Teddy Mcnabb

    when you take away the #expenses scoundrels whats left? no pun intended lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/NewquayLoyal Newquay Loyal

    What is the point of being in opposition if you allow the Tories to ride roughshod over the population ? The leadership must take a long hard look at themselves and decide if they are what the Labour Party is really all about.

    • John Reid

      Why did some labour M.P.s agree with the tores if they’re the opposition, I thought the point of opposition was you didn’t want to be doing it, and wants to be the government

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  • Amber_Star

    My son & I are very, very pleased to see that Mark Lazarowicz (our MP) voted against both.

    I abhor retroactive legislation. It should only be used to correct a grievous error which has the potential to harm the vulnerable. To see it used against some of the poorest people in this country, because the government can’t be bothered to administer a scheme properly, is shocking.

    Thankfully our MP voted against, so at least I have that to console me.

    • AlanGiles

      Amber, Alex, Mike, everybody in fact on this thread have said what needed to be said. I won’t make any further comment on this thread except to congratulate those Labour MPs who had the decency and courage to vote in the way their consciences, rather than expediency, told them to do. They, at least can hold their heads high in that principle was their guide.

      • Dave Postles

        I’ll echo that commendation of the Labour MPs who voted against. OTOH, I do not understand why the vitriol is directed only at Byrne. Surely it was a collective cabinet decision or at least the leader and cabinet supported Byrne. The rest of the MPs were supine. It’s the PLP which is at issue, not just Byrne.

        • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

          It’ll take a few Bradford West-like events to bring the PLP to its senses.

          The PLP/Progress contingent will only face reality if it looks like they’ll lose access to the trough. And if that doesn’t happen the Labour/Progress elite will continue to treat both its membership and electorate with customary contempt.

          • reformist lickspittle

            Yep, electing more worthless narcissistic demagogues like Galloway will solve all our problems. Well done – your usual brilliant insight!

          • http://twitter.com/twogreatV8s Alan Borgars

            Whereas, electing more honest,forward thinking MPs on par with Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion,Green) will actually help the public in the long term :) (I ,like many people,am aware of what ‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway is really like,by the way. He did not even vote in many recent and important bills! Reading Hansard can sometimes help you track good MPs.)

        • AlanGiles

          I should imagine it was at Byrne’s recommendation, Dave. Miliband seems unable to think or speak up for himself.

          The highspot of his week will soon be here: PMQs, when he will deliver his clever one-liners, specially written for him. I sometimes think that Miliband gives a very good impression of what would have happened in the war if Private Pike of Dad’s Army had tried to step into General Montgomery’s shoes. Well meaning, I’m sure, but…..stupid boy! :-)

        • AlanGiles

          I should imagine it was at Byrne’s recommendation, Dave. Miliband seems unable to think or speak up for himself.

          The highspot of his week will soon be here: PMQs, when he will deliver his clever one-liners, specially written for him. I sometimes think that Miliband gives a very good impression of what would have happened in the war if Private Pike of Dad’s Army had tried to step into General Montgomery’s shoes. Well meaning, I’m sure, but…..stupid boy! :-)

      • John Reid

        I note they’ve all got safe seats so thy don’t need to worry about a Tory landslide and them losing their seats when your sort of views were responsible for Thatcher getting landslides

  • Monkey_Bach

    Well, that’s it for me folks.

    Just as I thought the Labour Party was finding its feet and kernel of morality, compassion, and “One Nation” decency under the relatively spotless leadership of Ed Miliband, the Party’s leadership tries to whip its MPs into facilitating bloody awful Iain Duncan Smith’s rewriting of history, via some absolutely disgraceful retrospective legislation. Just as I though the Party was moving back into the light and I was beginning to regain my confidence and feel that I could vote for it again its leadership colludes privately with the deranged and cruel Iain Duncan Smith and then behaves dishonourably like this.

    As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The fact that forty-four good men and women Labour MPs didn’t stand by when this atrocious piece of legislation was put to the vote gives me some hope in respect to the future of the Party. But not enough to be able to vote Labour in any election while while Liam Byrne remains in the Shadow Cabinet. The fact that the Labour leadership actually ordered members of the Parliamentary Labour Party to abstain from voting against this appalling and scandalous bill instantly nullified any tentative confidence growing within me that the Labour Party, under Ed Miliband, had changed enough to deserve once again my trust and support.

    Surely even Tony Blair would have blushed at so public a betrayal of the Labour core?

    After last night I do not consider Labour worthy of my vote.

    Sorry.

    Eeek.

    • reformist lickspittle

      The Tony Blair who cut lone parent benefit, you mean??

      Let’s get this straight – this was more cock-up rather than conspiracy. Despite what some want to fantasise on here, most people in the Labour party – even at its higher levels – are not amoral psychopaths who want to grind the faces of the poor.

      And Byrne will soon get his, don’t worry…..

      • Monkey_Bach

        “… more cock-up than conspiracy…”

        Are you serious?

        How can whipping your own MP’s to abstain from voting according to their consciences, after colluding with a government as bad as the Coalition and agreeing privately to help them change the law, retrospectively, in double quick time, to render a judgement made in court null and void and so prevent thousands of innocent citizens denied benefits unlawfully by the DWP from being compensated by the DWP for those losses possibly be considered to be merely a “cock up”?

        I’d take a couple of aspirin and lie down in a dark room with a wet flannel on your forehead for twenty minutes or so, or longer, until such time as you feel better.

        Eeek.

        • Bill Grau

          @reformist lickspittle needs something far more serious than aspirin…

  • http://www.facebook.com/emkayoh Michael Kelly

    Hey Feral Elite
    Struggling to extract the remaining value out of the poor? , change the law, enslave them and steal their savings.

  • http://twitter.com/PawzNclaws Linda K.

    Bad move Ed as is retaining a watered down bedroom tax. Very many votes now lost and will stay that way until the party recalls its rots and ditches the Zionist Tory from the party.. Miliband has proved he is not for the people but instead for the elite.

    • reformist lickspittle

      “Zionist”?? Oh dear……

    • John Reid

      No it won’t lose many votes,are you in the party, if you think Ed s a Zionist is a bad thing that means he should be ousted, may I suggest that you join SWP instead,

  • http://twitter.com/chriswcheeetham Chris Cheetham

    I am as ever disappointed but not surprised that my exLib Dem now Labour MP did not vote against. No principles so what else do you expect!

    • http://twitter.com/twogreatV8s Alan Borgars

      Who is your ex-Lib Dem (now Labour) MP,Chris?

  • Disgruntled Knome

    Sandra Osbourne (My Local MP) is on that list, its certainly increased my opinion of her :)

    There is however no sign of my former MP in England JOHN TRICKETT.
    A person who was voted in because he said he would “protect your way of life” to the local voters.

    What a ******* turn coat.

    I have yet to see or read the penultimate decision though and I aint getting my hopes up they (aka government and Ian Duncan Smith) will pay for their crimes.

  • tony davey

    I feel that as a voter of left wing politics all my life that it is now time for the Labour Party to grow a” pair” and get someone who understands what the ordinary working man is being subjected to by this Idealist government because as things stand Labour will not be elected at next election because people like me are not being represented by labour as this vote indicates so more suffering to come for a while yet while the Labour party goes through the motions with all its rhetoric about being the Peoples party.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dan.Filson Daniel Filson

    Nick Brown, John Healey, and George Howarth – not your customary rebels. Good on them and the others. Isn’t supporting the Tories on a measure actually considered illegal by the courts taking timidity a little bit too far?

  • R Langford

    This is disgraceful. Why on earth did the leadership allow this to happen? What function does the Labour Party serve now? IDS rewrites history and the Labour Party rolls over. Sorry guys, you really got this badly wrong and I’m worried for the future. You’ve just lost my vote, this is not a Labour Party I want any part of.

  • rekrab

    “Overreaction” your having a laugh! labour has just gave the biggest kick in the balls ever to the workingclass Forced labour without the minimum wage. Get real, if Ed can’t get the basic fundamentals correct, then he’s not a labour leader.

  • S P

    Why is anyone surprised? The shadow cabinet is mainly comprised of very wealthy people who are concerned with winning the small number of marginal seats needed to gain power. Those marginal seats are mainly middle class, pretty wealthy, and the only ones that need attention in the system we have of first past the post (which Labour have supported strongly).

  • http://twitter.com/andyfree Andrew Freeman

    If only the voters of Birmingham had voted for an elected mayor, if they had Byrne would probably have resigned from the Commons to fight that election then he could have only taken pleasure in shafting the poor in Birmingham. Like Purnell he is quite obviously in the wrong Party and the Leader should take the temperature of the activists and move Byrne aside, and quickly before he dies more damage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

    Trickett is in the shadow cabinet, so if he rebelled he might have had to resign. Perhaps he should have done that. However, I don’t imagine for a moment that he actually supports Byrne’s stance on this.

    • Disgruntled Knome

      No action at all sadly can only show one conclusion.
      And there is no reason he would have to resign, the system as it stands is that local area’s elect some one who best represents their wishes and interests for their area in parliament.

      The annoying reality though is that no MP has any interest in representing what their electorate wants, and I know locally that most people when asked about this instance in court say that they should pay up as no body is above the law and they broke it.

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  • AlanGiles

    A lady once asked Fats Waller to define rythym to her. His reply was “If you has to ask, lady, you ain’t got it”.

    I mention this anecdote Mr Reid, because, not for the first time, you seem to display a singular lack of compassion towards the less fortunate (the other day you referred to welfare benefits as “handouts” – many many people have been paying into the system for many years)

    Labour is supposed to be the official opposition. By abstaining in the vote on Tuesday they effectively (as Easter is coming up) played Pontious Pilot, and in effect, nodded acquiescence at a retrospective law that is both unfair to those who is effected by it, and brings into focus the questionable morality of allowing retrospective laws being formed to “protect” government from it’s own prejudice and stupidity.

    I have to say, that with you at the helm (locally), I am very grateful that I am no longer a member of the party. If I may say so, I think you are a disgrace.

  • AlanGiles

    A lady once asked Fats Waller to define rythym to her. His reply was “If you has to ask, lady, you ain’t got it”.

    I mention this anecdote Mr Reid, because, not for the first time, you seem to display a singular lack of compassion towards the less fortunate (the other day you referred to welfare benefits as “handouts” – many many people have been paying into the system for many years)

    Labour is supposed to be the official opposition. By abstaining in the vote on Tuesday they effectively (as Easter is coming up) played Pontious Pilot, and in effect, nodded acquiescence at a retrospective law that is both unfair to those who is effected by it, and brings into focus the questionable morality of allowing retrospective laws being formed to “protect” government from it’s own prejudice and stupidity.

    I have to say, that with you at the helm (locally), I am very grateful that I am no longer a member of the party. If I may say so, I think you are a disgrace.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-White/1296412001 Paul White

      this is iraq again, the complete disregard of the views of the voters, party members, many mp’s and the ideology of the labour movement.

  • AlanGiles

    From the guff you write Mr Reid, I should think you’d quite enjoy the prospect of Mrs Thatcher being in power. Though she probably wouldn’t be right wing enough for you.

    • John Reid

      Now you’re just being silly

  • AlanGiles

    Could you rephrase this question because the first half of it (“Why did some labour M.P.s agree with the tores if they’re the opposition”) – makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    • John Reid

      Sorry dont speak bitter old troll, I’ll translate, the other fella asked why did labour not vote against as we’re the opposition, I replied its the oppositions job to get into power, we don’t have to vote against everything,

  • AlanGiles

    How could it be a “c*ck up”?

    This was a deliberate strategy by the shadow cabinet, they made a conscious decision to abstain – they calculated how it would play out to the media and decided (as usual these days) that keeping up appearances was more important than good, old-fashioned principle.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Because that is how these things often are (regardless of the fondness of too many on the hard left for conspiracies to explain everything)

      What it looks like to me is that a leadership distracted by the coming budget and Leveson took their eye off the ball – and quite possibly waved Byrne’s plan through after he started burbling about “concessions”. The idea that they just wanted to impress the right wing media does rather fall down on the fact hardly any of them have even reported about it!

      So why would Miliband and co piss off lots of activists and politically aware people in lobby groups etc for precisely *no* reason??

      It doesn’t make sense, which means it likely wasn’t intended.

  • MrHowie

    Absolute bloody disgrace….they call themselves a Labour Party, if Labour can’t stand by the side of working class people who will? I see that my MP for Newport West, Paul Flynn, was one of the rebels but our other MP Jessica Morden was not. I hope the voters remember this come election time Jess.

  • RedMiner

    Well Caroline Flint (Don Valley) has just lost my vote.

  • Michael collins

    Byrne is an utter disgrace to the Labour party and the working class

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730411586 Jackie Bell

    Notice my MP wasn`t even there!!!! So much for speaking up for the people of Paisley Mr Douglas Alexander. Still awaiting on response to email and notification of appointment to speak to you in person regarding ATOS and DWP. Seems to me labour are not interested in working class anymore. Lost my vote!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529432592 Rudi Affolter

    Good for those MPs. Some of you retain your conscience’s.

  • Bill Grau

    These are not rebels, these are heroes!!!

  • Bill Grau

    As a Labour Member who is really finding it extremely hard to keep his membership of Labour with a clean conscience:

    Labour must come back to its roots…

    one requirement will be not to follow or worse try to outsmart the Tories with worse neoliberal policies, with the latest at hand -
    like not abstaining against an anti-constitutional bill that entrenches retrospective retroactive law-making in the mainstream

    thus opening up an avenue to let government get away with being in contempt of the Law, and provides it with a terrible instrument to deny citizens redress against injustice…

    this creates a precedent with far reaching legal implications, and I hope that we will use the excuse of the Lords debate on the bill to overturn it…

    no shame on doing U-turns when it is to correct huge immoral mistakes…

    let Labour not bury itself in shame…

    even the disgraced libdems have had the guts to u-turn on their promise to vote for boundary changes….

    @inabster

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  • Josh_W

    If this was such a difficult issue, shouldn’t they have taken a bit of time to debate it? As I understand it, (and this is not a detailed reading) the bill was not against any challenges to sanctions on benefits, as Milliband suggested, but those challenges that relate to the being unlawful or poorly marked.

    In other words, if the sanction breaches an existing law, or someone’s human rights, or you don’t tell people what they are getting in to, then you don’t get to apply sanctions, or if you do, then they get it back.

    That seems like something we should specifically enshrine as good practice, not something we should pass laws against!

    If almost all of the sanctions given since 2011 fall in those categories, then maybe they should be condemmned.

    Here’s a nice simple alternative, make it so that if a landmark case requires payouts all at once, then you are allowed to stage your compensation over a certain period, such that you don’t take a massive punch to the budget all at once.
    Because it’s not really the problem of people receiving “windfalls” of money they were denied before and probably had to borrow money for or take loans to cover, it’s the problem of the government having to pay out a lot of compensation in a chunk, that might have been denied over weeks and months.

    If anything, that’s probably a better solution for the people who get it too, if it makes them less likely to move into income tax.

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