Tory front bench ruin Debt Bill – co-sign our letter to Cameron

On Friday, the Conservative party scuppered a bill by Labour MPs on Debt Relief.

The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill was being taken through its report and third reading stages today by Sally Keeble MP after the bill’s promoter Andrew Gwynne, became ill.  A cross party consensus had been agreed at committee stage of the bill with the acceptance of a sunset clause that put a time limit on the bill. A last minute objection from Phillip Davies, MP for Shipley, was withdrawn, so the bill should have completed its passage through the Commons today. Baroness Quin had agreed to take it through the House of Lords.

The bill, which stopped secretive off-shore investment funds from profiteering out of third world debt, was the result of years of international campaigning on the subject.  It protected heavily indebted poor countries which benefit from UK taxpayers support   –  effectively stopping tax payers money being siphoned off by the so-called “vulture” funds.

The three Tory MPs  –  two of them Tory front benchers  – sat with bowed heads in the Commons Chamber and refused to admit which of them had objected to the private members bill. Their move effectively brought an end to the bill. Sally Keeble called their actions “abject cowardice.” We think that’s a fairly measured way to describe their actions.

We’re pretty disgusted by this, and we want to know whether this important bill was stopped on David Cameron’s instructions. Please co-sign our letter urging David Cameron to come clean now.

Here is a statement from Sally Keeble we’d like to publish:

“This action today gives the lie to the Tories’ pretence of supporting international development. This bill was a small, but significant step in helping the most impoverished countries deal with their debts. It also protected British taxpayers’ money.

The Tories obviously think that developing countries are good enough to use as tax havens from which to get funding. But they are not prepared to protect the poorest developing countries from the most blatant profiteering.

The Tory front bench  – the Tory Leader and   the Shadow International Development –  must own up if it was one of their team was responsible for scuppering this bill. Was it their deputy chief whip Andrew Robotham MP, the whip Simon Burns MP, or the chair of the bill committee, Christopher Chope? They are abject cowards who sat and hung their heads as one of them objected to a measure to help combat world poverty.

The Tories have given a green light to the vulture funds that make profits out of the debts of the poorest people on the world.”

Sign the letter to David Cameron urging him to come clean on whether this important bill was stopped on his instructions.

7 thoughts on “Tory front bench ruin Debt Bill – co-sign our letter to Cameron

    • Shrikant says:

      I thank Rob for is comments, but a year ago I stood in Rastrick and only lost by the nesworart of margins. Rob has had all year to contact me, or to comment on my letters to the Brighouse Echo; and to find out just where I stand on the important issues. This is why I am disappointed that his grouping have chosen to oppose my challenge to the present Tory hold in Rastrick.The Labour Party has a new leader, with considerable backing from the Trade Unions as well as from rank and file members of the Labour Party, indeed my own union, Unison (of which I was a steward for a number of years), supported his leadership bid.We are in difficult times, but Rob has surely realised that I am calling for a change from the last 33 years of Monetarism, and a return to Keynesianism. That means that I believe in additional government spending, but properly directed, to stimulate the economy. I have been speaking to local businesses, who are now beginning to accept that people need a bit more brass in their pocket so that they can spend it in their local businesses, to ensure their success.I think that cuts to pensions whether the state pension or occupational pensions are counter-productive. Older people with extra income are more likely to spend it than the rich with their tax cut from 50p to 45p. And they are more likely to spend it in the local economy. The Multiplier effect of this (see the explanation of the Multiplier on Wikipedia) means that not only does the economy get stimulated, but most of the extra spending actually comes back to the treasury, reducing the net cost significantly! Unlike tax cuts for the rich which just sit in banks, or their pension schemes, and artificially inflate the price of shares.Rob commented on disaffected youth. He may have seen my letter about three months ago, to the Echo, bemoaning the fact that clearly more than half of this age group in Rastrick had failed to register to vote for the 2011 elections. Well, this year I wrote directly to those electors about to turn 18 before the election. I addressed the very issues of youth unemployment, student fees, loans and grants. It is too long for me to include the whole letter in this posting. Suffice it to say that I pointed out that if a free education and student grants were good enough for many of those currenlty in government, then why is it not good enough for today’s generation?Labour has to make difficult choices. But over the next few years, we have to wrest the debate back from the last 33 years of a right wing agenda to one better recognised by those of my and my parents’ generation to the NHS, the Welfare State , free education to public ownership of the utilities at least, and definitely of Public Transport. Only by having strong local Labour Councils and Councillors, (and hopefully soon, a Labour government), can we steer the political debate back to one that we ordinary working class folk can recognise

  1. Digital Scotsman says:


    Although Labour should have put it through as a proper bill rather thah just a PMB that anyone can shout down

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