Politics: The House

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MPs step up pay pressure

LABOUR MPs plan to intensify the pressure on the Cabinet to reject Gordon Brown's attempt to cut the proposed minium wage below the recommended level of pounds 3.20 per hour for young people.

More than 100 Labour MPs are due to meet TUC chiefs privately tomorrow to dicuss strategy to protect pay levels for younger workers.

The meeting at the House of Commons has been called by Ian Davidson, secretary of the Trade Union Group of Labour MPs, following reports that the Prime Minister is backing Mr Brown's proposal for a lower rate of the minimum wage, which the low pay commission has recommended should be pounds 3.60 per hour for adults.

Mr Davidson said that the group hoped to rally support among Labour backbenchers against any attempt to cut wages for younger employees. Mr Blair is thought to have backed Chancellor Gordon Brown, who believes the recommended rate of pounds 3.20 an hour for 18-to-21-year-olds should be cut to pounds 3.

Inquiry sought on Archer deal

A FRESH inquiryo the share dealing of Lord Archer was demanded last night by a Labour MP in a move to increase the pressure on the Tory peer to stand down from the race for the Lord Mayor of London.

A Commons motion tabled by Gordon Prentice questions the recent version of events by Lord Archer over the purchase and sale of shares in Anglia television with a profit of over pounds 70,000.

Lord Archer said he was inspired to do so after a dinner party with the Fleet Street editor, Sir Nicholas Lloyd. But Sir Nicholas said the dinner party was after the shares were sold.

Mr Prentice called for the Department of Trade and Industry to carry out a fresh inquiry into the contradictions in Lord Archer's claims

Today in the Commons

t Foreign affairs questions

t Ten-minute debate on the restriction of legal aid for non tax payers and people living abroad

t Opposition motions on NHS waiting lists and Scottish local government

t Debate on Council Tax Limitation for Derbyshire County Council

t Adjournment debate tabled by Tim Loughton (Con, Worthing East and Shoreham) on the A27: Sompting to Shoreham

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