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Benefit rebels back Lib-Dems

Two Labour rebels are expected to put their names to an opposition motion next week calling for cuts in lone parent benefits to be dropped. Audrey Wise, the MP for Preston, and Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, are expected to sponsor a Liberal Democrat amendment in Wednesday's debate on the Social Security Bill.

The demand that the cuts should not be implemented will bear the names of two Liberal Democrats, David Rendell and Steve Webb, and two Scottish National Party MPs, Roseanna Cunningham and John Swinney.

Another Labour MP urged the Government to reconsider its decision yesterday. David Winnick, member for Walsall North, said he hoped ministers could still reach a compromise.

"I trust it will be possible for those concerned to reconsider and bear in mind the feelings of a good number of Labour MPs."