ANTI-STRIKE laws passed by a comfortable margin in the Commons on Monday night – with the Government accused of “playing politics with key workers’ lives”.

The bill is likely to face legal challenges, warned former business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, who voted for the new law despite his misgivings.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner branded the legislation the “Conservative sacking nurses bill” and said Labour would repeal it if the party was elected to power.

She said: “It threatens key workers with the sack during a workers shortage and crisis, mounts an outright assault on the fundamental freedom of working people, while doing absolutely nothing to resolve the crisis at hand.

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“Let’s look at what this is really all about: a Government that is playing politics with key workers’ lives because they can’t stomach negotiation, a Government that is lashing out at working people instead of dealing with its 13 years of failure, and a Government and Prime Minister dangerously out of his depth and running scared of scrutiny.”

Meanwhile the SNP’s Alan Brown failed to get his amendment, which would have given Holyrood a veto on the legislation, over the line.

He said: “We know the attitude of the UK Government is ‘Westminster knows best’, even though it’s Westminster itself that’s wrecking inter-government relations and it’s Westminster that’s looking to wreck relationships with key workers, and key workers in devolved nations as well.”

Business Secretary Grant Shapps defended the legislation in a short speech at the end of the debate, saying the government was “simply proposing to protect people’s lives and to protect people’s livelihoods” by limiting strike action.

How did Scottish Tory MPs vote?


  • Alister Jack
  • John Lamont
  • David Mundell

No vote

  • Andrew Bowie
  • David Duguid
  • Douglas Ross

Scotland's SNP, LibDem and Labour MPs voted against the bill.