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Tories and DUP defeat Labour bid to end emergency services cuts and pay freeze

The Labour amendment was voted down by a majority of 14

Jon Stone

Conservatives MPs have voted down a bid by Labour to reverse cuts to emergency services and end the long-running freeze on public sector pay.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party had tabled an amendment of regret to the Queen’s Speech that would give a pay rise to workers, whose pay rate has been frozen at 1 per cent rises since 2010, and recruit more police officers and firefighters to fill in those cut under David Cameron and Theresa May.

But MPs voted down the motion to end the cuts and pay restraint by 323  votes to 309, a majority of 14. Conservative MPs voted against the motion while Labour MPs backed it.

The DUP, who have 10 MPs a d are supporting the Tories in exchange for an extra £1 billion from British taxpayers for Northern Ireland, also voted with the Tories against the motion.

Labour shadow Chancellor John McDonnell described the result of the vote as an “utter disgrace”.

The amendment of regret said that the House of Commons “respectfully regrets that that Gracious Speech fails to end cuts to the Police and the fire service; commends the response of the emergency services to the recent terrorist attacks and to the Grenfell Tower Fire; calls on the government to recruit more police officers and firefighters; and further calls on the government to end the Public Sector Pay Cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise.”

Labour leader Mr Corbyn had accused the Government of trying to provide “security on the cheap” and that “seven years of cuts to our emergency services has made us less safe”.

“Our emergency service workers make us proud at the worst of times for our country, such as the Grenfell Tower Fire and the recent terrorist attacks, and deserve the pay rise they have been denied for seven years,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, some Conservatives voiced their opposition to the public sector pay cap – but said they would not vote for the Labour motion anyway.

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