Lib Dems rebel against Budget

Parliament at night. MPs voted on the Budget yesterday evening and will do again tonight
Parliament at night. MPs voted on the Budget yesterday evening and will do again tonight

By politics.co.uk staff

Two Liberal Democrat MPs have rebelled against plans to increase VAT in the Budget.

Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, and Bob Russell, MP for Colchester, sided with Labour to vote against the increase and became the first Lib Dems to vote against the coalition government.

"Most of the Budget is unfortunately necessary," Mr Hancock said.


"But I can't support the VAT rise. It will be much harder for the poorest families and that's not fair on them. I will vote against it, and encourage my colleagues to do so."

The rebellion came as David Cameron delivered a speech at the Times CEO Conference in which he told the audience Britain could not expect to be a wealthy nation.

"I think too many people in this country are living under the delusion that a prosperous past guarantees a prosperous future," he said.

"But it isn't written anywhere that this country deserves a place at the top table.

"The world doesn't owe us a living - Britain has to earn a living," he went on.

"The crisis we find ourselves in means that we must 'reboot' and rebuild our economy.

"I believe that in Britain we can turn our economy around and be the real success story of the next few decades."

MPs will continue to vote on the Budget tonight. Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband is calling on Lib Dem MPs to vote against it or abandon their claim to be called a progressive force in British politics.

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