Britain’s opposition Labour Party lost a vote to try to force Theresa May to change her austerity agenda and increase public sector pay on Wednesday, June 28, in the first of many expected challenges to the prime minister’s ability to govern, Reuters reports.
The vote was the first the government faced in Parliament since the June 8 election.
The Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in a June 8 general election and was forced to strike a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to win passage of its legislative proposals in the Commons.
A victory for Britain’s Labour Party on a proposal to raise the pay of public-sector workers could topple Prime Minister Theresa May’s new minority government.
Thursday’s vote comes after debate on last week’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the government’s proposed legislation for the next two years.
This month’s election left the Conservatives with 317 of the 650 seats in Parliament, several short of a majority, while Labour won a better-than-anticipated 262 seats.
The election left the Conservatives several votes short of a parliamentary majority and severely undermined May’s authority.
“Tonight, the Conservatives had an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, by ending cuts to our police and fire service and lifting the public sector pay cap”, he said after the vote.
The votes also produced some awkward moments for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Conservatives have slashed public spending since 2010 in an attempt to reduce Britain’s deficit.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative minority government secured lawmakers’ backing for its legislative plans by a narrow margin Thursday, but only after making a sudden concession on abortion funding to stave off defeat.
In a deal reached this week, the Democratic Unionists agreed to back the Tories on key votes and May agreed to provide more than 1 billion pounds in new funds to Northern Ireland.