Public sector pay cap: Conservative MPs cheer after blocking Labour bid to raise emergency service salaries

Tories call opposition amendment 'a failed attempt to bring down' Theresa May's Government

Jon Sharman
Thursday 29 June 2017 13:29 BST
Cheers as Tories and DUP team up to vote down end to emergency services cuts and pay freeze

Conservative MPs cheered as the tally of a key vote was read out in Parliament, showing they had defeated Labour's attempt to force the Government to lift the pay cap on public sector wages.

Theresa May's party joined forces with the DUP on Tuesday to vote down the opposition amendment to the Queen's Speech that aimed to give state employees a pay rise above the 1 per cent rate at which their salaries have been capped since 2010.

Jeremy Corbyn cited the Grenfell Tower disaster and recent terrorist attacks while praising the emergency services and calling for more funds.

But Conservative MPs took to social media to cast doubt on the intent and timing of the amendment.

Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman said colleagues were cheering "Labour's failed attempt to bring down a serious Government signalling new thinking".

Ministers are "listening" to Tories who advocate a different approach to the pay cap, he said on Twitter.

Maria Caulfield MP said: "I was convinced during the debate that the cap will be lifted but important to listen to pay review body for how pay should be set."

And former soldier Johnny Mercer tweeted: "PM gets it; if she didn't I'd be banging on her door tomorrow. But must be done.. Properly in a budget that is fiscally responsible and LASTS. End result is what matter. PS pay cap will end - not because of Labour."

Ms May needs the support of the deeply socially-conservative DUP to get her way in the Commons after she lost her majority in this month's general election.

She has secured their backing thanks to an agreement to spend some £1 billion of additional public money on Northern Ireland's health, education and infrastructure.

The PM was criticised in the late stages of the election campaign when, during a BBC Question Time special episode, she told a nurse asking about the public sector pay cap there was "no magic money tree" for state workers.

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