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Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas criticised over 'Super Saturday' Brexit vote

PUBLISHED: 13:15 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:15 21 October 2019

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Parliament.

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Parliament.

Parliament

MP Jon Cruddas has been accused of playing party politics and scaremongering following a key vote around the government's new Brexit deal.

MP Jon Cruddas's statement was posted online following Saturday's vote. Picture: Jon CruddasMP Jon Cruddas's statement was posted online following Saturday's vote. Picture: Jon Cruddas

The member of Parliament for Dagenham and Rainham described the agreement reached by prime minister Boris Johnson's government as "a gateway to a no-deal" in comments he posted on social media.

On Saturday (October 19), MPs including Mr Cruddas, put the brakes on the deal by voting for an amendment which would withhold approval of the deal until any laws needed to bring it into force get passed.

Mr Cruddas said: "I support Labour policy and have been working to ensure the contents of this bill align with our commitments to workers' rights, consumer and environmental protections. This bill does not. That is why it needs to change."

Explaining why he voted for the amendment, Mr Cruddas wrote that the revised deal "amounts to a soft Brexit for Northern Ireland and a harder Brexit for England, Scotland and Wales".

The two-page long statement was posted in the Barking and Dagenham Community page Facebook group. Picture: Jon CruddasThe two-page long statement was posted in the Barking and Dagenham Community page Facebook group. Picture: Jon Cruddas

The amendment will allow MPs to nail down "proper labour and environmental protections" and get "firm legal protections" not just "Tory warm words" and "vital" to avoid no deal, Mr Cruddas's statement added.

He noted that a no-deal Brexit "would be bad news" for Dagenham and Rainham, with Ford saying it will shut its operations.

But Havering Council leader Cllr Damian White, the Conservative Party candidate for Dagenham and Rainham at the next general election, said it was unfortunate Mr Cruddas hadn't represented his constituents' wishes.

"It is very unfortunate Jon Cruddas did not vote for Boris Johnson's deal which was a significant improvement on Theresa May's.

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"Dagenham and Rainham saw the highest share of the leave vote in London. It's important members of Parliament represent the views of constituents," Cllr White said.

He added the majority of people in Dagenham and Rainham want to leave the European Union with some form of arrangement which would see Britain become a proud nation again.

He accused Mr Cruddas of playing party politics with the nation's future prosperity saying the national interest has to come first.

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering CouncilCouncillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

"I don't think the government has any intention of leading us into a no deal," he said.

Talk of Ford closing was another "scare story" similar to those circulated during the EU referendum warning of economic turmoil which were neither believable nor credible, Cllr White added.

Mr Cruddas responded saying: "I have consistently worked to get Brexit over the line, but not at the expense of the people I represent in Dagenham and Rainham.

"Mr Johnson's deal as it stands is nothing but a veiled attack on working people, showing a complete disregard for the hard-fought rights of ordinary workers."

The comments regarding Ford were not "scaremongering" but came from discussions in Parliament with company representatives.

Mr Cruddas said: "We need a deal that supports the British manufacturing industry and safeguards jobs.

"This week I will be working with other Labour MPs to get a commitment on workers rights put back into the deal - something the EU agreed under Mrs May."

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