Week 30: Hero – the 48 Labour Rebels

by Jackie_South on July 26, 2015

Hero-Labour1This week, our regular Hero award is bestowed on the 48 Labour MPs who broke the party whip on Monday

How ever you look at it, the Parliamentary Labour Party screwed up massively last Monday in its decision to abstain on the first reading of the government’s Welfare and Work Bill, instigating an eye-watering £12bn of welfare cuts for those of working age.

This is the sort of extreme measure any vaguely left opposition party should be making a stand against. Instead, the leadership of the party washed its hands. In doing so, they have been a very effective recruiting sergeant for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership challenge. All for a vote they could have effectively disowned after the leadership election if the new leader wants to do something different.

Labour’s abstention bought them kudos with no-one, and the despair of many.

So, step forward for praise the 48 Labour MPs who chose instead to defy the whip and vote against the first reading (well 47 plus a teller for the No lobby). They put principle before party advancement, and chose to stand up for the poor rather than play cynical games of political positioning.

The list includes new MPs and veterans, those associated with the left but also those normally on the right of the party, like Graham Stringer. Nominators of all four leadership candidates voted no, as well as five supporters of none. Yes, even one Liz Kendall supporter went through the no lobby (although as it was Paul Flynn, it is his backing of her that seems stranger than his vote on Monday. Three London mayoral hopefuls were on the list (a clear indication that they at least know where the membership of the party is on this).

So, step forward and take a bow  …

Diane Abbott, Debbie Abrahams, David Anderson,
Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Ann Clwyd, Jeremy Corbyn,
Geraint Davies, Peter Dowd, Paul Flynn, Mary Glindon,
Roger Godsiff, Helen Goodman, Margaret Greenwood,
Louise Haigh, Carolyn Harris, Sue Hayman,
Kelvin Hopkins (acted as teller), Imran Hussain,
Gerald Jones, Helen Jones, Sir Gerald Kaufman, Sadiq Khan,
David Lammy, Ian Lavery, Clive Lewis, Rebecca Long Bailey,
Andy McDonald, John McDonnell, Liz McInnes, Rob Marris,
Rachael Maskell, Michael Meacher, 
Ian Mearns, Madeleine Moon,
Grahame Morris, 
Kate Osamor, Teresa Pearce, Marie Rimmer,
Paula Sherriff, Tulip Siddiq, Dennis Skinner,Cat Smith, Jo Stevens,
Graham Stringer, 
David Winnick, Iain Wright and Daniel Zeichner

… these 48 rebels truly are heroes of the week.

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