“The worst kind of gesture politics” – Prentis raps Labour rebels

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has described yesterday’s Labour rebellion over the single market as “the worst kind of gesture politics”.

Three Labour frontbenchers were sacked after defying Jeremy Corbyn and backing Chuka Umunna’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech,calling for the UK to stay in the single market after Brexit.

In a statement on Twitter, Dave Prentis said: “At a time when the Tory Party are on the ropes, it’s totally inappropriate for Labour MPs to create a split over Europe – especially this week.

“On Wednesday Parliament was just seven votes shy of overturning the government’s cruel pay gap – yet instead of keeping up the pressure, some seem determined to let the Tories off the hook.

“Labour needs to stay focused on the immediate concerns of the British people – that was a clear lesson from the election just three weeks ago. UNISON members need action not words, and we need to now, both on pay and on the services our communities provide.

“Undoubtedly Europe is and will remain an important issue, but when unity is so important in the Labour Party, is is utterly self-defeating to become bogged down in the worst kind of gesture politics. This symbolic rebellion will do nothing for the country but risks damaging Labour’s hard-won unity – and distracting from this week’s real story, the government ’s denial of a pay rise to millions of public service champions.”

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