DUP plans to vote with Labour on NHS pay and tuition fees

Theresa May dealt setback as DUP backs Labour on NHS pay and tuition fees

Theresa May dealt setback as DUP backs Labour on NHS pay and tuition fees

Tory MPs surrendered on a stunt Commons motion condemning the NHS pay cap today after the DUP said they would join Labour to defeat the Government.

But this week Labour has established that it is in order to table a combined motion of revocation as an Opposition motion, scheduling a debate and vote in Opposition time.

Theresa May's confidence and supply deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been thrown into turmoil today as reports emerge suggesting the DUP will vote with Labour in blocking Tory plans to hike tuition fees to nearly £10,000 later this afternoon.

Theresa May has avoided holding a vote on the rise until now and the Tories are searching for ways to appeal to younger voters who flocked to Jeremy Corbyn at the general election.

Public sector pay is now dominating the political debate - and was the main issue at the TUC conference. This is why DUP is able to vote with the opposition in spite of its "confidence and supply" deal with the Conservative Party.

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In a statement, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: "The DUP wants to see fair pay for public sector workers".

"They won't even trust their own MPs to back their latest hike in student fees, so they're trying to stop us voting on it at all".

"It is not part of the confidence and supply arrangements".

Conservative sources insisted they were "pretty relaxed" about the outcome of the debate which does not require the Government to change policy.

On Tuesday, Downing Street signalled that the 1% limit on public sector pay rises - a controversial policy first adopted seven years ago - is to be scrapped.

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But the move, announced on the same day figures showed the inflation rate had reached 2.9%, did little to ease the criticism of the Government's pay restraints.

"We welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to flexibility on the pay cap".

MPs have backed a call for an end to the public sector pay cap for the NHS after the Government chose not to contest a Labour motion rather than face an embarrassing Commons defeat.

"It's extremely rare for the Government not to vote down an Opposition motion and the only explanation is it avoided a vote because it knew it would lose it", he said.

Ian Paisley Jr, a senior DUP MP told the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon: "I must say that myself and my colleagues are minded to support the motion. put before the House this evening".

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