Parliament: The House in brief - Assent for Welfare Act

THE CONTROVERSIAL Welfare Reform and Pensions Act received Royal Assent last night, having survived the biggest Labour rebellion against the Blair Government and a constitutional clash between MPs and peers.

The wide-ranging package, which ushered in stakeholder pensions among other measures, became law alongside the Immigration and Asylum Act, Food Standards Act, the Greater London Authority Act and the House of Lords Act. Peers, led by the Labour disability rights campaigner Lord Ashley of Stoke, had repeatedly voted to amend the Government's proposals, threatening to plunge the legislative programme - including Lords reform - into disarray. But on Wednesday, they finally backed down.

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