Controversial Trade Union Bill passes third reading in the House of Commons

James Nickerson
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Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle is strongly opposed to the bill (Source: Getty)

The government’s controversial Trade Union Bill was met with strong opposition, but ultimately passed the House of Commons in the third reading.

Parliament voted 305 in favour, with 271 against, giving a majority of 34.

Under the existing rules, if 100 members are balloted and only five vote and three vote yes and two vote no, there is a valid mandate for strike action.

Under the new rules, if 100 members are balloted then at least 50 must vote, of which 26 must have voted yes and a smaller number voted no, for there to be a valid mandate.

Read more: Union members and activists from around the UK heading to Westminster for rally over controversial bill

Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle said: “This bill just doesn’t fit with modern Britain. It acts like devolution never happened.”

She added: “This government wants to destroy trade union finances and organisation and effectively legislate trade unions out of existence.”

Eagle reiterated previous Labour statements that the the measures are "draconian and counter-productive".

However, MP for Macclesfield David Rutley said it was up the Conservatives to finish the job of reforming trade unions that his party started in the 1980s.

Read more: Business secretary Sajid Javid says Trade Union Bill strike laws are for "working people"

Business secretary Sajid Javid has insisted the bill would help prevent "endless" threats of industrial action, saying the proposed changes would "ensure working people's lives aren't unfairly disrupted".

The bill will now be passed on to the House of Lords for consideration.

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