Tue, 9 March 2021

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EXCL Labour anger after Clive Lewis misses anti-austerity Queen's Speech vote

EXCL Labour anger after Clive Lewis misses anti-austerity Queen's Speech vote
2 min read

Former Labour frontbencher Clive Lewis is under pressure to explain why he was the only MP not to vote on Labour's bid to scrap the public sector pay cap.

The ex-Shadow Defence Secretary did not have permission from Labour bosses to miss the crunch division, which also called for the recruitment of more police officers and firefighters, which his party lost by 323 votes to 309.

Mr Lewis' absence is particularly surprising given his strong anti-austerity views.

He caused controversy in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze by tweeting that it was time to "burn neoliberalism, not people" alongside a picture of the smoking building.

The Norwich South MP also took his anti-cuts message to the Glastonbury music festival.



One Labour MP told PoliticsHome: "Clive is all show and no substance. He spent the weekend ranting about austerity in in a field in Somerset but couldn't be bothered turning up to vote against it in the House of Commons last night."

Another Labour insider said: "It's ironic that the man who keeps going on about a progressive alliance couldn't find the time to vote alongside Labour, SNP, Lib Dem and Green MPs against Tory cuts."

PoliticsHome contacted Mr Lewis for comment, but he had not responded by the time of publication.

Speaking in the wake of last night's vote, Jeremy Corbyn said: "Although government ministers said they had learned the lessons of the General Election and were listening to voters, it is clear that nothing has changed.

"They had the perfect opportunity to walk the walk, but instead they marched through the lobby to show Tory austerity is business as usual.

"While the money is there when the Conservatives need it to keep themselves in office, the rest of the country now face more devastating cuts to our emergency and other vital services."


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