Labour motion on NHS pay rise passes without opposition

Theresa May dealt setback as DUP backs Labour on NHS pay and tuition fees

Theresa May dealt setback as DUP backs Labour on NHS pay and tuition fees

MPs have backed a call for an end to the public sector pay cap for the NHS after the Government chose not to contest a Labour motion rather than face an embarrassing Commons defeat.

Labour hopes to use the vote to test the strength of the Conservative-DUP pact, as the DUP is opposed to increases in tuition fees.

Staring down the barrel of her first Commons defeat since she took the reins at Downing Street a year ago, May decided instead to avoid a damaging vote altogether.

Because no MP shouted No when the question on NHS pay was put to the Commons, the motion - which is non-binding and has no legal effect - was agreed unanimously.

Before the vote was called, he said: 'I've already alluded to the fact that I'm delighted that the Labour Party has brought forward this debate tonight.

On Tuesday, Downing Street confirmed the one percent limit on public sector pay rises is to be scrapped.

'That's the discussions we had in advance of the last election, and to chide us, you only hurt public servants in Northern Ireland who are benefiting from that £1 billion deal that will allow us to allocate this money to relieve these costs'.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has voted with Labour in favour of raising NHS pay - the first time the party has broken with the Tories since their £1 billion ($1.32bn) deal after the general election.

Defeats in Parliament always carry political embarrassment for the PM as their position is dependant on commanding a majority of the Commons.

Ms Greening told MPs that Labour's policy was to have no tuition fees, and said such a stance would mean "fewer students at worse universities" - describing it as "anti-social mobility policy writ large".

But it does not cover a raft of domestic policy issues, severely limited Mrs May's room for manoeuvre.

Shadow Health Secretary campaigning against the pay cap.

In a statement, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: "The DUP wants to see fair pay for public sector workers".

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's shadow health secretary, said the Government's move was exclusively aimed at avoiding defeat - and urged Mrs May to scrap the pay cap for all public sector workers.

"And is it also not clear that the reason the Government did not divide on this motion is they knew they would lose?"

"The Labour Party is no longer just the official opposition, we are a government in waiting, ready to properly invest in our NHS and its staff".

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