Last Wednesday in Westminster the Government suffered a serious defeat in the House of Commons as I, along with the majority of other MPs, stood up for working people. The Government had planned to give councils the power to relax Sunday trading laws. But I’m proud to have stood in solidarity with small businesses, workers, trade unions and faith groups which have long been campaigning against this proposal, to defeat the Government.
In the lead up to the vote I was approached by small traders locally, as well as other constituents who were concerned by what a change would mean for a smaller independent shops as well as for family lives of those working for larger chain stores. I told people who asked me that I believe the current arrangements work well, and mean that retailers can trade, customers can shop, and shop workers can spend time with their families. Extending Sunday trading hours would also lead to the gradual reduction of workers’ pay and rights across the UK. With our 'Keep Sunday Special' campaign, Labour led the charge against the Government’s plans and were joined by other opposition parties and some Conservative backbenchers to vote against the proposal. The Government must now listen to the settled will of the House of Commons and confirm that they will not attempt to bring back these plans, which were not in their election manifesto.