Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Urged to Support Schools Bill in Wake of Concessions

Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Urged to Support Schools Bill in Wake of Concessions

Article excerpt

The governments contentious education reforms deserve to be supported now that ministers have agreed to several major concessions, senior Labour figures said at the spring conference.

In the closing address, party chair Ian McCartney said the debate around the white paper had been constructive, but he urged Labour MPs not to vote against their own government.

'When party members give you the right to stand as a Labour candidate, you accept the responsibility to go to Parliament on their behalf and deliver a Labour manifesto,' he said. Our manifesto can't be a pick and mix.'

Sir Jeremy Beecham, Labour vice-chair of the Local Government Association, added a more cautious note of support. Speaking at an LGA-hosted fringe meeting on February 11, Beecham said he had been 'relatively reassured' by the government's compromise.

'The Bill should be supported on second reading, but there are still outstanding issues to campaign on,' he said. Td like to see admissions monitored locally as well as nationally and a stronger role on the 14-19 agenda that puts local authorities more in the lead. …

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