On Wednesday Labour chose to debate the roll out of Universal Credit in our opposition day debate. Delays to benefit payments caused by the roll out have left many without money for food, bills or rent. Many claimants are being forced into rent arrears through no fault of their own putting them at risk of homelessness and causing untold stress and worry. The Tories’ mismanagement of the social security system is causing harm to job seekers when what they need is help.

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I joined with my Labour colleagues to vote to pause the roll out until the problems causing these delays were fixed. A vote that the Government knew they would lose. In a shameful display the Tories didn’t even bother to vote against the motion and instead whipped their MP’s to abstain, this was done to try and discredit the vote so they could ignore it.

It’s frankly disgraceful that the Tories chose to sidestep Parliamentary procedure, and undermine the democratic principles that underpin it, by deciding not to vote at all. This vote is representative of a worrying trend of authoritarian behaviour from Theresa May and her Cabinet. She is stubbornly carrying out her policies no matter how much damage they do to the British people or how much opposition they receive in Parliament.

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