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Margaret has hit out at Liberal Democrat MPs after they refused to back a Labour motion to scrap the hated Bedroom Tax in the Commons yesterday.

Over recent months high-profile Liberal Democrats, including even leader Nick Clegg, have hinted that they would be open to scrapping the policy, yet yesterday they united with the Tories to ensure the motion was defeated by 298 votes to 266.

Glasgow East MP, Ms Curran said: ‘Scotland will not forgive or forget this betrayal. We had the opportunity to abolish the bedroom tax, but the Tories and Lib Dems – including their Scottish MPs – votes to keep this cruel and unjust tax.’

Curran slams Lib Dem Bedroom Tax Betrayal

Margaret has hit out at Liberal Democrat MPs after they refused to back a Labour motion to scrap the hated Bedroom Tax in the Commons yesterday. Over recent months high-profile...

During the referendum, I visited lots of schools and colleges in the East End to take part in debates and meetings with students about the vote.

At every one of the events I went to, I was impressed by the level of debate and the engagement that our young people had in politics.

One of the real success stories of the referendum was allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote. It meant that, for the first time, our young people had an opportunity to participate in the future of our country.

That success is one of the reasons why the Labour Party is going to make sure that 16 and 17 year olds can vote in every election from 2016. That’s what Ed Miliband announced on Monday night, and we’ll make sure that it happens if Labour is in Government after next May.

In Scotland, we have elections in 2016 and I want to make sure that every 16 and 17 year old is able to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections.

That’s why I wrote to the Government yesterday asking them to bring forward changes to the law now in order to make sure that happens. You can read my letter on twitter, and you can watch the report on last night's STV news at the top of this page.

The referendum showed the big part that 16 and 17 year olds have to play in the future of our country. Let’s make sure that the referendum was just the start.

 

BLOG: Margaret calls for votes for 16 and 17 year olds

During the referendum, I visited lots of schools and colleges in the East End to take part in debates and meetings with students about the vote. At every one of...

Today, some constituents in the East End have emailed me about their concerns about shale gas extraction, which some people call fracking, particularly after last night’s vote in the House of Commons.

Last night, we debated the Infrastructure Bill, which covers a whole host of issues including roads, the British Transport Police, planning and shale gas extraction.

While we welcomed moves to enable further infrastructure projects across the UK, we thought this bill was wholly inadequate in other areas.

That is why I voted with other Labour MPs to refuse a second reading for this Bill. Instead of cherry picking measures to improve our country’s infrastructure, the Government should have established a National Infrastructure Commission – but this bill fails to do that.

Our opposition to the bill also made clear that we thought the provisions relating to shale gas extraction did not ensure robust safety and environmental standards.

Labour has been calling for better regulation for extracting shale gas since March 2012. We’ll now table amendments to this Bill with our demands for better regulation of shale gas extraction.

We’ll also be calling for all licensing for shale gas extraction to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament – to give them full power over this area.

Right now, the SNP Scottish Government has an absolute veto on shale gas extraction in Scotland as they have to provide planning permission for the sites. This means that they could stop any shale gas extraction in Scotland if they wanted to.

This has been confirmed by the independent House of Commons Library who said “fracking could practically be blocked in Scotland [by the Scottish Government], particularly through the planning regime. Nothing in the Bill would change that.”

Our amendment would also exclude Scotland from the changes to trespass law being made in the bill, implementing the recommendations of the Smith Commission.

I’ll continue to push for tougher regulation of shale gas extraction as the Infrastructure Bill progresses, and for the remaining powers over it to be passed to the Scottish Government.

BLOG: Margaret responds to shale gas questions

Today, some constituents in the East End have emailed me about their concerns about shale gas extraction, which some people call fracking, particularly after last night’s vote in the House...

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