14 Liberal Democrat rebels help defeat housing benefit cuts in the House of Lords

Fourteen Liberal Democrat peers, including the former party Chief Whip Archy Kirkwood and the former interim Chief Executive Ben Stoneham, joined a successful rebellion in the House of Lords today. The vote, on part of the Welfare Reform Bill, was over the proposal to cut housing benefit payments from people who have spare bedrooms in their property.

The peers voted to restrict these cuts to people who have two or more spare bedrooms, excluding the controversial category of people with one spare bedroom – which, under the rules as proposed, might in fact not have been that spare. Concerns had also been raised over the transitional arrangements for people who would be hit by the cuts if they did not move soon.

The government lost the vote 258-190.


The Lib Dem rebels were:

  • Eric Avebury
  • Brian Cotter
  • Archy Kirkwood (former Chief Whip in the Commons)
  • Veronica Linklater
  • Ken Macdonald
  • Sue Miller (former Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson)
  • Roger Roberts
  • Ros Scott (former Party President)
  • John Shipley
  • Trevor Smith
  • Matthew Taylor (former chair of the party’s Campaigns and Communications Committee)
  • Celia Thomas
  • Jenny Tonge
  • Geoff Tordoff (former Chief Whip in the Lords)
Ben Stoneham abstained.

Thank you to Mark Valladares for helping with getting the full list from Hansard.


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