These are the Labour MPs who ran away when their constituents needed them

MPs debate the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, July 20, 2015.

MPs debate the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, July 20, 2015.

This is a roll call of shame.

The Conservative Party has launched yet another attack on the poor, the disabled and the disadvantaged in the UK and – rather than stand up for those people – all but 48 members of the Parliamentary Labour Party just stood aside and let it happen.

Apologists for these so-called representatives say there will be time to oppose particular measures in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill during the Committee Stage, but they conveniently forget that it is easier to push objections through if one has not already stood aside to let the legislation reach that stage. In short: Nobody will take these objections seriously.

Here is the list of Labour MPs who betrayed their constituents:

Heidi Alexander
Rushanara Ali
Graham Allen
Jon Ashworth
Ian Austin
Adrian Bailey
Kevin Barron
Margaret Beckett
Hilary Benn
Luciana Berger
Clive Betts
Roberta Blackman-Woods
Tom Blenkinsop
Paul Blomfield
Ben Bradshaw
Kevin Brennan
Lyn Brown
Nick Brown
Chris Bryant
Karen Buck
Richard Burden
Andy Burnham
Liam Byrne
Ruth Cadbury
Alan Campbell
Ronnie Campbell
Sarah Champion
Jenny Chapman
Vernon Coaker
Ann Coffey
Julie Cooper
Rosie Cooper
Yvette Cooper
Jo Cox
Neil Coyle
David Crausby
Mary Creagh
Stella Creasy
Jon Cruddas
John Cryer
Judith Cummins
Alex Cunningham
Jim Cunningham
Nicholas Dakin
Simon Danczuk
Wayne David
Gloria De Piero
Stephen Doughty
Jim Dowd
Jack Dromey
Michael Dugher
Angela Eagle
Maria Eagle
Clive Efford
Julie Elliott
Louise Ellman
Bill Esterson
Chris Evans
Paul Farrelly
Frank Field
Jim Fitzpatrick
Rob Flello
Colleen Fletcher
Caroline Flint
Yvonne Fovargue
Vicky Foxcroft
Mike Gapes
Barry Gardiner
Pat Glass
Kate Green
Lilian Greenwood
Nia Griffith
Andrew Gwynne
David Hanson
Harriet Harman
Harry Harpham
Helen Hayes
John Healey
Mark Hendrick
Stephen Hepburn
Meg Hillier
Margaret Hodge
Sharon Hodgson
Kate Hoey
Kate Hollern
George Howarth
Tristram Hunt
Rupa Huq
Huw Irranca-Davies
Dan Jarvis
Alan Johnson
Diana R Johnson
Graham Jones
Kevan Jones
Susan Elan Jones
Mike Kane
Barbara Keeley
Liz Kendall
Stephen Kinnock
Peter Kyle
Chris Leslie
Emma Lewell-Buck
Ivan Lewis
Ian Lucas
Holly Lynch
Fiona Mactaggart
Justin Madders
Khalid Mahmood
Shabana Mahmood
Seema Malhotra
John Mann
Gordon Marsden
Chris Matheson
Steve McCabe
Kerry McCarthy
Siobhain McDonagh
Pat McFadden
Conor McGinn
Alison McGovern
Catherin McKinnell
Alan Meale
Ed Miliband
Jessica Morden
Ian Murray
Melanie Onn
Chi Onwurah
Albert Owen
Matthew Pennycook
Toby Perkins
Jess Phillips
Bridget Phillipson
Steve Pound
Lucy Powell
Yasmin Qureshi
Angela Rayner
Jamie Reed
Steve Reed
Rachel Reeves
Emma Reynolds
Jonathan Reynolds
Geoffrey Robinson
Steve Rotheram
Joan Ryan
Naseem Shah
Virendra Sharma
Barry Sheerman
Gavin Shuker
Andrew Slaughter
Ruth Smeeth
Andrew Smith
Angela Smith
Jeff Smith
Nick Smith
Owen Smith
Karin Smyth
John Spellar
Keir Starmer
Wes Streeting
Gisela Stuart
Mark Tami
Gareth Thomas
Nick Thomas-Symonds
Emily Thornberry
Stephen Timms
Jon Trickett
Anna Turley
Karl Turner
Derek Twigg
Stephen Twigg
Chuka Umunna
Keith Vaz
Valeria Vaz
Tom Watson
Catherine West
Alan Whitehead
Phil Wilson
Rosie Winterton
John Woodcock

(Thangam Debbonaire also abstained, but this was because she has been diagnosed with cancer and was in Bristol having chemotherapy. She was ‘paired’ with a government MP so her absence did not affect the outcome of the vote.)

(Natascha Engel and Lindsay Hoyle could not vote because they are Deputy Speakers and are automatically paired with government MPs.)

(Fabian Hamilton was, we’re told, recovering from surgery. Otherwise, according to a commenter, he would have voted against the Bill.)

(Lisa Nandy was on maternity leave.)

(Christina Rees was abroad on an all-party working group, according to a commenter to the blog.)

If your Labour MP is among the above, then This Writer encourages you to contact them and request an explanation for this betrayal. You may also ask them to explain why they think they should be trusted to fulfil the role expected of them in Parliament, which is to oppose the Conservative Government’s destruction of the Welfare State and the fabric of British society. You may even wish to request their resignation (although this is only likely to succeed if enough people in the same constituency make the same demand together).

The cowardly rejection of responsibility by the above-named Labour MPs has already earned the contempt of many very well-known figures in the Left of politics.

Harry Smith, the 92-year-old who spoke movingly in support of the NHS at last year’s Labour Conference, tweeted: “To abstain against austerity is to accept austerity.”

He added: “During days of Thatcher Labour fought her tooth & nail & stood up for the vulnerable but today we washed our hands of them.”

Owen Jones, the 30-year-old Leftie columnist, tweeted: “Abstaining on the Welfare Bill means saying you are on the fence about driving the kids of low-paid workers further into hardship.”

You can have this, from Green MP Caroline Lucas: “Labour frontbench defends indefensible & accepts principle of arbitrary benefit cap – how much extra child poverty are they relaxed about?”

Even Abby Tomlinson, the teenage creator of ‘Milifandom’, had to speak up against the abstention of her idol: “Really worries me that MPs would compromise their principles just to toe party line. If they think the bill is morally wrong – oppose it.”

Fortunately for the future of the Labour movement, there were some who were prepared to stand up, not only against the vile Conservative legislation but also against the wrong-headed complicity of their own party leadership – 48 of them.

Leading the rebellion was Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn. He made his views clear in a statement: “We introduced tax credits to fill the gap between wages and the cost of living. Osborne’s proposals do nothing to close that gap, while taking away the vital lifeline that tax credits have provided.

“Research by Savills shows that the lower benefit cap would make all of London and most of southern England uninhabitable for families – based on three-bed properties at market rent.

“Disabled people were hardest hit by welfare cuts in the last Parliament. Reducing ESA rates to JSA levels will send more disabled people into poverty at a time when poverty in disabled households has hit record highs.

“Freezing working-age benefits for four years will mean more homelessness, more people using food banks, more child poverty and more misery. This Bill is the unspeakable attacking the vulnerable. It is indefensible.”

In contrast, Twitter user David George King told another leadership candidate, Andy Burnham: “You’ve a bloody cheek claiming you think this tax credit cut is wrong then abstaining – total copout.” Burnham, like fellow leadership candidates Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, abstained and let the Tory Bill proceed.

Debbie Abrahams, who has done such sterling work keeping my Freedom of Information request on benefit-related deaths in the public eye, said, “This is a wicked Bill.”

And John McDonnell made his own feelings even more plain: “I would swim through vomit to vote against this Bill.”

What a shame so few of their fellow MPs were prepared to take a principled stand. Labour desperately needs a leader who will purge the party of its dead weight – and only one candidate had the courage to stand against the tide this week.

Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall need to discover that they can’t expect the support of the people if they are happy to stab the people in the back.

If nothing else, this vote has shown that Jeremy Corbyn is clearly the man who should be leading Labour out of the dark.

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  1. paulmac49 July 21, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I don’t see the point in them calling themselves Labour MPs they are all spineless. They are suppose to be the opposition yet they sit on the fence, it’s a complete waste of time

  2. Michael Broadhurst July 21, 2015 at 12:58 am - Reply

    disgusting, i’ll never vote labour again after a lifetime of voting for them.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:34 am - Reply

      If I were you, I’d join the party and get involved with rooting out the fakes who have infiltrated Labour and poisoned it with Tory values.

    • Jon July 21, 2015 at 11:53 am - Reply

      So who are you going to vote for? Voting for anybody but Labour or simply not voting results in another 5 years of the evil Tories. Is that what you want?

      • Mark Tilson July 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

        No, I want PR. So would the Parliamentary Labour Party if they cared more about the the people than their own careers.

      • Ian July 21, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

        You seem to be missing the entire point: Why vote Labour when they behave like Tories? What is the point?

    • Chris July 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      This is why the working class of this country need Jeremy Corbyn to lead Labour more than ever after last nights betrayal .

  3. ian725 July 21, 2015 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Well said Mike and very well put . Yet again congratulations on being a True Champion who really does care.

  4. polwin12 July 21, 2015 at 3:26 am - Reply

    My MP was absent, as he seems to always be on issues I’m concerned about. So gutted at those 48 gutless mps who obviously couldn’t care less about real people just like the Tories.
    So gutted I couldn’t sleep.
    All the emails LABOUR send out asking for support, donations and suggestions on how to make LABOUR stronger yet they are not present at something so important to it’s members.
    Wondering iif they just want to stay in opposition, get their wages but not have to do any real work.
    This dismaying lack of conviction and interest in a very important Bill may drive some people to UKIP!
    They probably couldn’t care less about that either.
    Feel betrayed.

  5. Eric Waite July 21, 2015 at 4:03 am - Reply

    This is the reason why stopped being a paid member of the Labour party in 1997.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

      Do you mean a paid-up member?

  6. Joanna July 21, 2015 at 5:15 am - Reply

    I Have sent this to both Alan johnson and my new MP Karl turner, though I can’t see it doing any good!

  7. David M July 21, 2015 at 5:38 am - Reply

    Have already sent a message to Mr Doughty to try and convince him to change his mind – I’m not hopeful though :(

  8. Ismail Abdulhai Bhamjee July 21, 2015 at 5:50 am - Reply


    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

      What does this have to do with the issue at hand?

  9. Robert Speirs July 21, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Labour only care about themselfs, they dont care about the familys these cuts affect. They dont care about the familys that are so poor kids wil be going to bed hungry. This is why the Scottish people rejected labour in the last election and this is why they will fail in the next Scottish Election. Hang your head in shame labour party.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Don’t forget that 48 Labour MPs voted against the cuts.

      • A July 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm - Reply

        So the Labour Party has 48 MPs left.

  10. notesfromthenorth75 July 21, 2015 at 7:03 am - Reply

    The SNP, Plaid, Caroline Lucas and 48 Labour MPs. The true progressives in parliament. Shame on Labour.

    • Emma July 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Out of curiosity, why no mention of the Lib Dems? You mention just about everyone else, but not them. And it can’t be based on numbers as you gave a deliberate shout out to Caroline Lucas…

      • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

        The Lib Dems? Who are they?

      • notesfromthenorth75 July 21, 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

        Beacause I don’t believe that they are particularly progressive, given what they allowed to happen while they formed part of the government over 5 years. More recently, the party elected a man who couldn’t answer whether he believes gays are sinners, but is notorious for mixing his religion and politics.

  11. lallygag26 July 21, 2015 at 7:10 am - Reply

    You are right about the Leadership, Mike, but what future for it if so many Labour MPs don’t agree with his position? What don’t they understand about ‘opposition’? You don’t vote in favour of ANYTHING that emanates from this vile crew who have one aim and one aim only – remove the welfare state and turn the NHS into an insurance system. We will be left with charitable handouts and the meanest of means tests for the very poorest. It’s the return of Victorian society.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

      A party leader has the whips to ensure that discipline is kept. If an MP continues to rebel, then there are stronger measures available. Considering the public reaction against those who abstained last night, it seems likely that constituents will also hold their MPs to account.

      • ian725 July 21, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

        In my humble opinion every MP’s first duty is to the people that elected him, namely his constituents.

  12. Steve Grant July 21, 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

    The whole point of the ” opposition” is to oppose regardless …..not to agree with everything a government says.Im very disappointed and if this is an example of what our opposition has come to then what’s the point of voting?

  13. Mr.Angry July 21, 2015 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Mike like you no doubt I stayed up late to hear the outcome, hence your blog, I wished I hadn’t after hearing the outcome, could not sleep for the rest of the night. This is some form of devolved plan, Labor has lost it’s way totally and will regret their actions.

    I for one am totally disgusted with them.

    • Rhidian July 22, 2015 at 1:30 am - Reply

      I agree with you, Mr angry, That labour should live to regret their actions, but I honestly fear that politics and the way it’s reported now means that the people at large won’t even be aware of this massive betrayal of their trust and the values on which the labour party is supposed to be built. A vote for labour is a vote for the Tories, just as it has been since 1997.

      • Mike Sivier August 11, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

        Since 1997 – so you admit that there was a change that made Labour the way it is now.
        Why won’t you agree that Labour can change back?

  14. ghost whistler July 21, 2015 at 7:35 am - Reply

    According to her twitterfeed, Thangam Debonaire was not present due to having chemo. I have to assume that’s not a lie, but sadly one can never tell with today’s parliamentarians.

    However that doesn’t change the fact 2 thirds of the red tories supported a bill that will further destroy the lives of ordinary innocent people that have done nothing to deserve the hardship that a cabal of ideologicaly driven self entitled millionaires will heap upon them.

    Labour seem to be arguing that this was only the second reading and so it’s ok to support it. I don’t understand that at all. What happens if IDS does what he’s done before and uses parliamentary privilege to make this law? Then it will be too late.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:28 am - Reply

      If you’re determined to use the phrase ‘Red Tories’, then I think you should be saying that ALL the ‘Red Tories’ supported the Bill by their abstention.
      The 48 Labour MPs who opposed it should not be tarred with that brush.
      Learn their names so you don’t make that mistake again!

  15. daijohn July 21, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    The Labour party is suffering from head up arse syndrome about winning an election in 5 years time. Meanwhile we will be battered by Tory policies. Labour is the main opposition party and their job now and for the next 5 years is oppose the Tories in everyway they can. We will not be impressed party political shenanigans.

    • Jon July 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Yes the role of the opposition is to oppose, but in a constructive way by suggesting alternative strategies or compromises. There is no doubt in the minds of most working class people that benefits are out of control and need to be reformed, but fairly. The Labour Party will never get re-elected until they start focusing on the working class, and not the benefit class. The article said that because of the benefit limitation a family on benefits couldnt afford to rent a 3 bedroom house in SE England. Nor should they be able to. All benefits should be capped at the minimum wage. Otherwise what is the incentive to work.

      • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

        Benefits are not out of control. What makes you think working class people agree with what you’re saying?
        Tax avoidance is out of control. If everybody – especially the rich and corporations – paid their taxes as they should, then there would be enough to support the benefit system as it was before the Coalition came into office, pay off the deficit every year and make inroads into the national debt.

      • Ieu July 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

        Do you really think someone on minimum wage could afford a house in the SE of England without benefits? Most benefits go to people in work to top up their poverty level wages. Do you even know how much the JSA is?

      • hstorm July 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

        The majority of benefits is actually spent on pensions, Jon, and only a tiny proportion, about 3%, on out-of-work claimants.

    • Rhidian July 22, 2015 at 1:39 am - Reply

      I know the level of jsa, I’ve been on it, and I live in se England. It’s not enough to scrape by on, let as be support a person actively looking for work. If I didn’t have my partner to lean on I doubt I’d have been able to feed myself. And this bill will make it harder still.
      My fear is that labour are purposefully allowing the Tories to make these heinous changes to our welfare state in order to throw it back in their faces in time for the next election. I’d much prefer an effective and conscientious opposition who stood up for the things they claim to represent. Labour fail at this time and time again.

      • ian725 July 24, 2015 at 12:05 am - Reply

        hstorm quote ‘ The majority of benefits is actually spent on pensions, Jon’
        I trust that you exclude the people who have paid 50 years of National Insurance and ‘Graduated Pension’ that cannot be classed as a benefit when it has had contributions made for Health and Pension. It is like paying for Insurance not a benefit as is being popularly defined as benefits!!

        • Mike Sivier July 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm - Reply

          In that case, you would have to exclude every other state benefit from being described as such. By your own standard, they cannot be classed as benefits because people have paid contributions for those specific purposes. “It is like paying for insurance…” etc.

  16. Mike Rodent July 21, 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Sharp-elbowed Mary Creagh, of course. But our lovely Stella? Sad. And surprising.

  17. stilbury July 21, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I know you dislike the SNP, but they deserve credit for voting in full numbers against this despicable bill. Labour needs to stop sulking and work with them.

    • stilbury July 21, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Why is my comment still awaiting moderation?

      • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:21 am - Reply

        Do you think it’ll be moderated more quickly if you complain about it? You can go to the back of the queue.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Yes, the SNP deserve credit.
      But the SNP stabbed Labour in the back and it seems unlikely that Labour will collaborate with any other party in any way until there has been at least one change of leadership.

      • stilbury July 21, 2015 at 11:57 am - Reply

        Not at all, apologies. But how did the SNP stab Labour in the back? I’m not aware of any such thing. I think Labour have been in self-destruct mode for a very long time. The SNP, even if they had wished to help them along the way, didn’t even need to.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply

          Read up on what happened at the general election.

      • shoogley July 21, 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

        Mike, in what way did SNP stab labour in the back?

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

          The constant claims in the run-up to the election that Labour were ‘Red Tories’, based on the collaboration over the Scottish referendum. It had nothing to do with the election campaign but the SNP set out to convince people that Labour and the Conservative Party were allied. That was a lie. There were many others in the run-up to the election. You can read up on it.
          That’s what the SNP said in Scotland to get rid of Labour there. Then that party told the rest of the UK that it wanted to form an alliance with the Labour Party to keep the Conservatives out of office. That was enough for David Cameron to be able to claim that Labour and the SNP would team up to rob people of their savings if the Conservatives weren’t elected – a strategy that, as we know, led to a narrow election victory for the Conservative Party.
          The intention – on both sides of the border – was to undermine Labour.

      • stilbury July 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply

        Mike, you need to wake up because you are sounding delusional. I was in Scotland for the entire General Election campaign. The Scottish people rejected Labour, and the reason was that Labour sided with the Tories in the referendum campaign and continued to do so in the run up to the General Election.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

          If I had a penny for every dupe who called me delusional… The reason was that the SNP rammed it down everybody’s throat that Labour was on the side of the Tories, so they didn’t have a chance to consider whether it was true on the merits of the evidence.
          I won’t be taking any more comments from you about this for a while – you really need to go away and look at some information that doesn’t come from the SNP playbook.

      • Phillypop July 21, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

        Err excuse me … are trying to tell me that the SNP hoodwinked the Scottish electorate into believing that the Labour Party were in bed with the Conservative Party !!

        How stupid must the Scottish electorate have to be … NOT !!

        How dare you imply that we are all idiots and do not have a mind of our own, we the people had enough of the lying, cheating Labour Party who were at the beck and call of Cameron and Co during the referendum. They were dumped from both sides YES and NO voters over their sly alliance, Labour has lost it’s way long before the Referendum and should concentrate on how to win people back rather than blame the SNP for their failure !!

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

          Good thing I didn’t imply that, isn’t it.
          I don’t really have to do anything when people like you come here and do my job for me. Look at the way you’re carrying on – yet again – about Labour working for the Tories over the referendum, which is a childish misinterpretation.
          Labour learnt its lesson over that, though – no more alliances with anyone over single issues, as third parties will twist the facts.
          In Scotland, Labour certainly made many mistakes that had nothing to do with the SNP. But it is a fact that the SNP cynically stepped in and did everything it could to manipulate matters to its own advantage.
          I won’t be taking any further correspondence on this matter here, as it is off-topic.

      • Cx2uk July 22, 2015 at 12:37 am - Reply

        Surely Labours current abstention rate and abject failure to oppose the Tory government pretty much proves the SNP were right… Vote labour get Tory.

        • Mike Sivier July 22, 2015 at 12:57 am - Reply

          No, it doesn’t.
          Do you even know what Labour’s abstention rate is?

  18. TomMagenta July 21, 2015 at 8:34 am - Reply

    I can’t believe my MP didn’t vote against this – after she promised me personally that she’ll oppose anything that’ll harm the disabled and vulnerable.

    Politicians, ladies and gents.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Will you be contacting her and applying pressure for her to behave properly in future?

      • TomMagenta July 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

        I sent her an e-mail regarding the leadership vote asking her to back Jeremy Corbyn, but she sided with Yvette Cooper instead.

        With that and this, I’m not sure it’s worth it. I’ll give a try, though.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

          The alternative is to stir up public feeling, to show her that she was wrong and people won’t accept that.

  19. Maria July 21, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Then Labour and me are finished, long as my family supported them, from the start, but no more. Neither will I be supporting Tory, maybe now there is truly no one left to vote for.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:13 am - Reply

      The answer isn’t to wash your hands of Labour. If you believe in what the Labour movement represents (or should represent) then why not join up and effect change from inside the party?

      • Jim Round July 21, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

        It seems that not enough people care enough about what the Labour movement represents and that those members who do are ignored.
        It’s one of the reasons I ceased membership way back in 1996.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

          I strongly urge you to rejoin.

      • Maria July 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm - Reply

        I can’t afford to join.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

          Have you paid the £3 so you can vote on the leader? That would be something.

      • Maria July 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

        I don’t have £3, I have £20 a week and nothing more.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

          Fair enough.

      • Jim Round July 21, 2015 at 3:47 pm - Reply

        There are too many with the wrong attitude in the party now, and not enough core Labour.
        They are going to be nigh on impossible to root out.
        As I said, there are not enough people joining with the core values.
        Membership may have risen after the election but so does gym membership every New Year, let’s see what the numbers are in three years and how many are “active”
        What are your experiences of your local party?
        When you were door stepping before the election what did you think about the electorates attitude, what was important to them?
        I’m sad to say I wasn’t surprised to find it was all “me me me” when I was out there.
        Fed on a propaganda diet, it seems to get worse every few years.
        “I don’t need a Union, I don’t do anything wrong”
        “If they don’t like their job, get another”
        “If you can’t afford kids, don’t have them”
        “Move to where there is work”
        “Give up smoking and stop going to McDonald’s”
        “I haven’t had a pay rise for five years, why should anyone else”
        “The immigrants get jobs, why can’t they”
        “They come taking our jobs, why did Labour let them all in”
        You get the idea.
        As a respected journalist with his finger on the pulse, do you not get disheartened about how far society has gone, and continues to go, in the wrong direction?

  20. Matt Hawkins July 21, 2015 at 8:36 am - Reply

    If you did a bit of research you would relealise that one of these MPs was having cancer treatment so couldn’t vote. I’ll give you a chance to work it out and issue an apology.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:26 am - Reply

      I was not aware of that, so have altered the article to reflect it.
      However, her comments on Twitter make it clear that, had she been there, she would have supported the amendment by her party leaders and then would have abstained.
      So there will be no apology.

  21. Nigel Harman July 21, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    these MPs should hang their heads in shame another right wing labour kick in the teeth for it’s supporters and they wonder why they lost the election thats a classic example. Again Jeremy Corbyn has the fortitude too stand up for what is right it shows who the next Labour leader should and hopefully will be. The party really need to look long and hard at where they are. Three paces too the LEFT thank you

  22. hayfords July 21, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Your list needs updating.

    Thangam Debbonaire was having chemotherapy at the time of the vote and could not get there. She is getting abuse on Twitter for abstaining because she is on lists like this one.

    • ghost whistler July 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      I tweeted her this morning on the basis of this list, though there was no abuse. Certainly I was in error, and even though a couple of other people decided she was wrong to abstain (likewise in error as she was absent on medical grounds – not that it was public knowledge prioor) there was no abuse.

      Nor should there be, even though for reasons unknown she supports the hopeless Blairite Yvette Cooper.

      • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

        One point – she has made it clear that she would have followed the Party line – supporting the amendment by Labour’s leadership and then abstaining.

  23. Ulysses July 21, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Sorry for the language, Mike, but I could f**king weep

  24. Angie July 21, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

    sad to say my MP is in that list and he will be hearing from me.

  25. Nick Fourbanks July 21, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    The vote last night on welfare will leave many deaths and heartbreak if nothing else over the coming years

    If the labour party feel they could not vote in the best interests of the poorest public then it is all over for labour as one might as well keep going with the Tory dogma

    The Tory win also gives the green light to the Tory’s to be extreme in future and attack the elderly to their premature death and the NHS

    It was a very dangerous green light given by labour last night but is proof that if corbyn does not become the labour leader the labour party will never ever get into power again as they will have proven beyond any possible doubt that they are just a closet conservative party and have been for many years

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

      This was just the second reading, so the Bill hasn’t been passed yet, Nick.
      That being said, of course the fact that so many Labour MPs abstained means their objections in the Committee Stage will not gain much credence.

      • Nick Fourbanks July 21, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

        sorry to be hard mike there should not have been any abstained votes and those mp’s who did not turn up or vote and are a disgrace to any democracy and should just leave politics as they haven’t a clue on politics

        these same mp’s talk about the public not voting when they cant even be bother to do themselves

        if i knew years ago that mp’s were as bad as this lot today i would have gone into politics back in seventies

        even my daughter who is in politics admits they overall are very poor and are a good excuse for the public to not get involved

  26. Roland July 21, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I will never ever again vote laour in my life its time to have a new political system this one is so corrupt

  27. Deborah July 21, 2015 at 10:00 am - Reply

    I think Labour has already slipped too far, it’s basically become Tory Light, no wonder they lost so many seats last time, the problem is that people are getting disenchanted with the entire electoral process, they know that if they want to vote for the smaller parties their vote may as well not count. I vote Green, despite being in a Tory stronghold, there are many people who would vote Green if they thought it would be counted. Caroline Lucas consistently stands up (even as a lone representative of the party) to speak against the Tories, Labour should either learn from her example or stop pretending to be there for the people and what is right for this country.

  28. david July 21, 2015 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Time to update your “SNP falsehoods” page, starting with: Labour WILL NOT STAND UP to Tory austerity that will require £30 billion worth of government spending cuts.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Maybe it is!

      • Joan Edington July 21, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

        Scotland’s one and only remaining Labour MP also abstained. Their ranks north of the border will probably be obliterated at the next election. Unfortunately, some of those MPs unseated by the SNP would have voted against the bill (Katy Clark, Mark Lazrowitz etc). I know it wouldn’t have made a difference to the result, with all SNP MPs voting against anyway, but it would have made the rebellion stronger.

  29. Jon July 21, 2015 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Contact your MP and asking them anything is a complete and utter waste of time. Political reform along with economic reform is now the highest priority. Anything else is simply perpetuating the current system from which the 1% benefit.


    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

      That’s completely untrue. If people put pressure on their MP, the simple desire for self-preservation will force them to sit up and pay attention. You don’t know how many others will be doing the same.

      • ghost whistler July 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

        But there’s 5 years before the next election. Why are they going to start listening 2 months after being elected?

        People like IDS get by on a huge share of the vote. He’s not going to listen. Nothing is going to compel him to listen.

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply

          People have to listen if public opinion sways heavily against them. It becomes impossible for them to do what they want, without somebody pointing out that they’re not doing what they were elected to do. Eventually they get hounded out of office.

  30. Adelheid Jenkins July 21, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

    why do we bother voting for people when they don’t turn up for such important issues???? no wonder the Tories get through parliament what should absolutely not go through!!!! And you get a 10% payrise on top of that!!! I know you will say, we had to be in our constituency, but your local constituents would want you to vote on these issues!!!
    yours disappointed and annoyed!!!!
    Adelheid Jenkins

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply

      They didn’t have to be in their constituencies; that’s what some of them do on Fridays, not Mondays.
      They simply didn’t vote, on the orders of their interim leader and the whips.

  31. Tracy July 21, 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I emailed my MP first thing this morning before reading your blog. I asked her to explain why she had supported this Bill and said I was very disappointed. Which I am. This government is going to be responsible for driving many to suicide – and I may be one of them.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Don’t give them what they want.

  32. Lorfarius July 21, 2015 at 11:13 am - Reply

    I’ve never been more disgusted with this party than last night. If it’s an attempt to keep some Tory lite voters on then it’s a failure. Core voters will split off and go elsewhere, I want nothing to do with them and I won’t vote for them again. I’m also pulling my donations to them from being a member via Unison. Never again.

  33. Tony Dean July 21, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

    What REALLY annoys me is Labour should be informing the electorate of the truth about welfare, NOT following ill informed public opinion.
    A massive opportunity was missed by Labour in the run up to the general elections, they hardly mentioned welfare and the lies the general public has been fed for the last two decades.
    Labour should be the signpost not the weather-cock.

    • Dave Plant July 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Absolutely agree with this. What is so terrible about making a stand for human decency and exposing the lies and propaganda we get from the likes of IDS? Labour is really at a crossroads now. I just hope it isn’t too late to save the party from the pointless “Tory-lite” tendency.

  34. Chris Otter July 21, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

    I wrote to my MP immediately upon reading this and seeing that he had abstained from voting.

  35. Chris Otter July 21, 2015 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Guess who said this?

    ‘We believe in making work pay, so that people are always better off in work, and that work is the best way out of poverty.

    ‘The deficit has to be eliminated. We believe in controlling the costs of social security so that it is fair on the working people who pay for it, so it is there for the people who need it.’

    No, not a Tory. This was Stephen Timms of the Labour Party (standing in for rachel Reeves) regarding the Tories’ Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Labour sound just like Conservatives now. They need to seriously rethink their position. They’re going to lose a lot of grassroots supporters, such as myself, if they acrry on like this.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Stephen Timms sounded just like a Conservative then.
      But you can’t say Labour sounds like the Conservative Party as long as Labour has those 48 MPs who voted against the Bill.
      There is a split in the party and it is important to get rid of the neoliberal right-wing dead weight.

      • Chris Otter July 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

        I fully agree, Mike. I don’t think all hope is lost for Labour just yet. But when they make statements like this it doesn’t help their cause. They need to distance themselves from the Conservatives and their policies and to make themselves distinctively different. The fact that Harriet Harman is a cousin of Cameron and also born into privilege (which she is at pains to hide) is little consolation either.

    • ian725 July 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      Hold the Pony!!! Everyone for the last 6 decades has paid for the welfare system, NHS and Pensions through National Insurance Contributions and Taxes . It is our successive governments who have been at fault because they have applied the wrong formula certainly not the People who now are the butt of Government mismanagement . Instead of so many drastic killer cuts why don’t they increase contributions all round. It may be an idea for all Parties and MPs to try and work together on that front instead of agreeing to massive cuts which will damage the economy sooner rather than later.

    • Shoogley July 21, 2015 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      Around 50% of households with income below the poverty line have someone in the household who is working. The rhetoric of work reducing poverty no longer applies, and will not make much difference if the only jobs are very low paid. Labour are chasing the so called middle income folk in the South East and in so doing are forgetting their core values. Even Blair in his first election had some vision of a fairer society (yes, he did turn out to swing to the right and in the process lost around 3 million votes over the next two elections). The party needs that kind of vision again and the only one seeming to fit that is Corbyn.

  36. LauraNWay87 July 21, 2015 at 11:59 am - Reply

    So disappointed to see my MP on this list. He will definitely hear my thoughts on this.

    Thanks for all your work, campaigning and awareness-raising, Mike. It’s because of people like you that those of us who are disabled and chronically ill have a voice, which is getting harder to be heard.

  37. ghost whistler July 21, 2015 at 11:59 am - Reply


    You made a mistake in listing Thangam Debonaire as abstaining when she was in fact absent and you’re having a go at me because you think I’m mistaken?

    The Labour party has been fully complicit in the austerity war waged against people in this society. I don’t care if a few members don’t agree, the party as a whole, as was evident last night, clearly supports the tory plans, so the term will stand.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      I’m not “having a go” at anybody.

  38. Michael July 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    IMO this is why SNP won so many seats in Scotland.
    Labour Party appear to have no backbone. Their constituents elected them because they believed that they would represent normal working people. To abstain is a kick in the teeth to those who voted for them. Labour also make mockery of democracy- the minority that voted for them would expect them to vote against such a policy.
    Labour have furthered cause of the Tories. Even more of societies poor will now be demonised as work shy scroungers. A campaign the Tory government have been very successful in portraying. The majority of the “working poor” are now going to affected even further.
    Well done labour. Hang your heads in shame!!

  39. boromoor July 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    i see three of them are candidates for the leadership. I know who I’ll be voting for.

  40. A-Brightfuture July 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Welfare has now become a stigmatized and dirty word thanks to all the s***e slinging, dodgy statistics, and horrendous television programmes.

    It takes a very empathic person who earns a great wage to pass laws regarding the poor.

    Our government is full of Narcissism, the only way to beat them…………is to ignore them.
    Don’t vote for them, don’t listen to them, and completely shut them out of your life.
    Otherwise the only thing you get out of it is depression.
    Probably that’s why they are filling JobCenters with MH therapists.

    Only a hand full of MPs are worth their weight in gold.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      Shutting them out of your life does not mean they will leave you alone.
      I recommend the exact opposite.
      Get involved, get vocal, get in their faces. It’s the only way to get rid of them in the long run.

  41. che July 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    The reason for Christina Rees abstention is because she is currently away in the states on an all party working group.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks for that – I’ll amend the article.

      • che July 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

        thats ok mike, I only found out after complaining to her office ……..!

  42. Rob July 21, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    So there you have it ladies and gents, Labour and Tory.. All in it together! except 48..

  43. Ian July 21, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    I see Jamie Reed voted with the Tories. A thoroughly objectionable little pillock if ever I saw one. He was one of those saying “the electorate” want him/Labour to go right. I had an argument on Twitter with him, he declined to answer my question as to why anyone should vote Labour when they behave like Tories.

    A liar, a coward and a Tory. I hope his term as MP ends shortly.

  44. Deirdre July 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    There’s a shiver running round the Labour Party and only 48 spines for it to run down. Think you need to take down your blog ‘The Falsehoods of Scottish Nationalists’ now. What they said about the Labour Party has come true.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      No it hasn’t. That’s a gross misinterpretation based on one vote.

      • Shoogley July 21, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

        But Mike, that opinion is not just based on one vote. We in Scotland have seen the Labour Party morph into a Tory lite party. I hate to go back to the referendum but we saw the Scottish branch of the Labour Party work hand in hand with the Tories and the MSM. Yes and no voters have left to find a left of centre party, the snp. The sad thing is had the Scottish labour branch had the autonomy to vote yes in the ref then they would walk it in a independent Scotland election. PS I don’t think you are delusional…..just wrong. And given so many folk think that you are wrong about the snp stabbing labour in the back, perhaps you would like to really research the facts before calling folks names?

        • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 11:03 pm - Reply

          You saw what you wanted to see. Labour worked for the same aim as the Tories on the referendum but that did not mean Labour worked with the Tories on everything, as the SNP and its adherents tried to claim.
          It works the other way, too. Only today on Channel 4 News, I saw an SNP spokeswoman claiming that the SNP and Labour had worked together on the proposed changes to the Hunting Act. Not true. They happened to be prepared to vote the same way – that’s all.
          Scottish Labour couldn’t support independence because the Labour Party is a UK political party and does not support any move that would break up the union. It really is that simple.
          You can carry on thinking I’m wrong if you like. Good luck finding factual evidence to support that opinion.

  45. Michelle Singleton July 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I have to agree at some certain stages I have seen someone on benefit complaining that the 1100 she gets a month is not enough to live on i am working and she gets 200 less than i do and i get NO help with NHS charges NO help with council tax NO help with rent I have to pay EVERYTHING myself and i can manage to budget and save a bit so sorry benefit should be capped will make SOME people not everyone has kids for this reason but some do ) think twice about popping out babies so they don’t have to work and it will make foreigners think twice about claiming benefits for kids that are not even in this country, it is the childless couples/ singles i feel for living on the pittance they get that is disgusting they cant even afford to run a home on what they get a fortnight, government need to start taking in to account what a person really needs to live on including all bills and some leisure activities

    • Ian July 21, 2015 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      Why are your bad pay and prescription charges this other person’s problem? Why should she get even less because you have a greedy boss? Why are your prescription charges her problem when it was the government that introduced the? A Tory government, I might add, that you’re now supporting. Do you see how bad your logic is? The government allow you to be badly paid and then take prescription charges from you and then you support that same government when they want to make someone even less well of than even poorer?

      You’re just using the government to bully her the way they bullied you.

    • hstorm July 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      “government need to start taking in to account what a person really needs to live on including all bills and some leisure activities”

      Except when they have kids? When they have kids, their benefits should be capped because… er…?

      I’m sorry, I can’t follow a word of your argument at all.

  46. Iain Hedley July 21, 2015 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Your list is flawed. Ronnie Campbell could not attend. If he had attended he would have voted against with his other comrades like Ian Lavery and John McDonnell. His voting record speaks for itself.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      It’s possible – there were other errors.
      The only way to produce the list was to subtract the 48 rebels from the rest of the Labour Party.
      If you can prove that Ronnie Campbell was unavoidably detained, I’ll add the name to those who were unavoidably unable to vote.

  47. zaicasgaeilge July 21, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Lisa Nandy’s abstention was due to her maternity leave. She will be voting against at the 3rd Reading:

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks for that – I’ll update the list.

  48. Thomas July 21, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Is there any point in voting Labour next time? I might as well throw my vote away on a small party.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      It depends on whether you think politics is something that affects all of our lives, all the time – or if you think it’s something other people do.
      If the former, then it’s better for you to get involved in the Labour Party and help make it something you would support next time. If the latter, then there’s not a lot of hope for you.

      • Thomas July 22, 2015 at 1:01 am - Reply

        I am (very slightly) involved in the Labour Party but as someone with Aspergers Syndrome, I doubt I could ever rise to be a politician.

  49. Mark July 21, 2015 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    A country is judged by the way it treats the vulnerable, we as a country were right up there once. Since the attack on the welfare state by our OWN government, we can no longer hold our heads high a good example of a First World Country, we approach the level of care displayed by that of the Third world dictatorships, and America. And countless others.

  50. Mike Rodent July 21, 2015 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    I wish one or two of the more decent ones in this list would explain their decision-making. Presumably it’s about party solidarity. But HH is a temporary leader. So I truly fail to understand this. If you are going to side with selected Tory policies, OK. But picking on children just because the Sun and other guttersnipe rags have highlighted the occasional wastrel with 25 children is an attitude which may well leave an indelible stain the Labour party… and just as importantly, fail abjectly to attract any waverers. It’s the economy, Stupids.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      One Labour MP has contacted me with information about the reasoning behind her choice. I haven’t read it through yet, but may produce an article about it shortly.

    • Dave Plant July 22, 2015 at 8:49 am - Reply

      For anyone interested, my MP Peter Kyle has posted his reasons for his abstaining on Facebook.


      Basically he says that he doesn’t reject everything in the bill and believes that the parts he does object to can be amended during the committee stage. He also reserves the right to vote against the bill at the third reading, and as a last resort thinks that opposition peers can stop the bill in the Lords.

      Personally I don’t doubt his sincerity, but I think he was wrong not to join the 48 who voted against the bill, as a matter of principle.

  51. Garteth July 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Mike, the scottish nationalists would be pleased with your assesment. The reality is a tad more complex. This is another trap like the fiscal responsibility bill, one which labour plans to defuse. Doesnt stop the snp piling in with their predictable dog and pony show, but id expect a more considered take from your good self.

    • Mike Sivier July 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      Labour has had limited success at defusing such traps.
      With this, the basic position has to be that, even though there are elements that Labour would like to see enacted, the whole is bad for the citizens of the UK and is therefore unacceptable.

  52. Tomaso July 21, 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Angela Rayner MP was also abroad on Parliamentary business But says she would have voted against the Bill if she had been in the country.

  53. Dick Clayton July 22, 2015 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Miliband resigned as leader of the Labour Party after the General Election in May, right ? Why is it taking them until September to appoint a new leader ? Is it indecision, or more pertinently, there is no credible candidate ? Labour are a mess !!!

    • Mike Sivier July 22, 2015 at 12:58 am - Reply

      Unlike some parties (not mentioning the Liberal Democrats), Labour wants to give members a chance to make sure they know everything they need to know about all of the candidates before making up their minds.

  54. Rhidian July 22, 2015 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Huge list of comments here, and I don’t have the time to read them all, so sorry if this question has come up already.
    I just wonder at why you keep urging people to change this party from within with mbership and lobbying their mp’s, when they clearly couldn’t care less? Why not change your vote to a party who already represents the changes you want to see in government and policy? Or one that is at least closer aligned with your vision of the labour movement.
    Seems a faster, more effective way of showing the will of the people (or your own will).
    I just don’t see the sense in continually supporting/trying to change a party that has betrayed its supporters over the last 2 elections at the very least… It makes me sad.

    • Mike Sivier August 11, 2015 at 9:53 am - Reply

      Who says they couldn’t care less? You.
      How do you know? Is it just because that’s what you see?
      That would be doing a huge disservice to the Labour members who are working hard to make their party what it should be.
      The idea of running away to another party might seem clever but in fact it would simply be handing the Conservatives a long-term lease of power because none of the other parties are anything like popular enough.
      Remember, Labour changed during the 1990s. It can change back.

  55. wildswimmerpete July 22, 2015 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Although I was only half-awake this morning when “Today” was on, I’m delighted to hear that Jeremy Corbyn is the front runner for Labour leadership

  56. Jay July 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Fabian Hamilton was absent as he is recovering from surgery, so it is unfair to include him in this list. He had stated publicly his intention to vote against the bill.

    • Mike Sivier July 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Okay, I’ll take him out of the list.

  57. Charlie Mowbray July 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Both Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MPPs for Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived boroughs in London,failed to vote against the benefis cuts. Disgusting!

  58. Peter Tudor July 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Just been on Ian Austin’s website to express my concern that he abstained and to tell him I regret voting for him. Spineless.

  59. ian725 July 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Mike the graduated insurance contribution part was a contract for a State Pension it was never stated as ‘a benefit’ also NHS and Social Security were different animals. Most people could claim unemployment ‘Dole’ if made unemployed or redundant. I agree that the waters have since muddied since the 50’s and 60’s however in the old days people did believe that they Contributed to their own Pension. Some of us have what is termed a ‘Military Pension’ whether they served in the Navy, RAF or the Army it has never been termed ‘benefit’.

    • Mike Sivier July 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      Pensions most certainly come under Social Security now, and are paid from the same budget at Jobseekers’ Allowance.

  60. mrmarcpc July 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Cowards and liars, each and every one of them, proof if proof were needed that they are all really tories!

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