Labour forces vote on emergency services cuts following Grenfell tragedy

 
Helen Cahill
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Dozens Remain Unaccounted For Following Grenfell Tower Fire In London
Tower blocks in Camden have been evacuated due to fire safety concerns (Source: Getty)

Labour will today table an amendment to the Queen's Speech, demanding an end to cuts to emergency services and calling for the government to scrap the public sector pay cap.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is putting forward the amendment as a "test case" for MPs' attitudes to austerity, and is also using it as an opportunity to praise the fire service's response to the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Following the fire, large-scale testing of cladding on UK buildings has found that the external coverings on 95 blocks in 32 areas in England are unsafe. Prime Minister Theresa May has responded by ordering a national investigation into tower block cladding.

Read more: Arconic says it will stop making Grenfell cladding: Its statement in full

MPs will vote on the Queen's Speech on Thursday. Corbyn's amendment, which is backed by shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, will force a separate vote on austerity cuts today.

Corbyn said in a statement: "You can't have safety and security on the cheap. It is plain to see that seven years of cuts to our emergency services has made us less safe; it's time to make a change.

"Our emergency service workers make us proud at the worst times for our country, such as the Grenfell Tower fire and the recent terrorist attacks, and deserve the pay rise they have been denied for seven years."

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