The government has won its vote on cutting tax credits with a majority of 35.
The Tories won by 325 votes to 290, in spite of its working majority being only 16. It was expected that the vote would be tighter than this, with rumours earlier in the day that a number of Tory MPs were planning to rebel. In reality, only two Conservatives (David Davis and Stephen McPartland) appear to have voted against, and it looks like the government’s whipping operation paid off. Discipline in parties opposing the measure, particularly Labour, was apparently not as tight.
The vote is in favour of £4.4bn of tax credit cuts, which could cause over three million families to lose an average of £1,000 a year, according to the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra.
Although the Conservative majority means the measure would have passed regardless, Labour MPs are particularly frustrated by the result. The bulk of junior positions are stil unfilled, as is the whips’ office, meaning discipline is somewhat lighter than it will be in the coming months.