Equal Opportunities in Britain — 7 Jun 2000

I beg to move,

That this House believes that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was being simplistic and divisive in attacking the admissions procedure of Oxford University on the basis of a single, individual case; regrets the lack of action by the Government to promote freedom and opportunity for all the people of the United Kingdom; and calls on the Government to match its rhetoric with action, by removing government obstacles to the less well-off entering university, significantly increasing investment in education, taking those on low incomes out of income tax, tackling pensioner poverty, improving the quality of healthcare for all, and ensuring access to basic services in both rural and urban communities.

My opposition and "outrage" stems from the fact that the proposals as leaked in the recent Russell Group report . . . would mean that I couldn't afford to go to Oxford university. I came from a state comprehensive and was the first person from my school EVER to get a place at Oxbridge. My Dad is a fireman and my Mum works with disabled kids. They are typical middle class people, not affluent, but not too hard up. If they are expected to pay £5,000 per year for my university education, simply because I'm clever enough to get a place at Oxford, they cannot afford to do so.

share in the increasing prosperity of the nation.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

'believes that true opportunity for all requires that access to higher education should be based on merit not background; welcomes the measures the Government has implemented to widen access as part of the record increase in education spending of 8 per cent. in real terms in this year alone; and welcomes the many initiatives taken to help those in society whose needs are greatest, including an extra £950 a year for older pensioners on low incomes and a record increase in NHS spending of an extra £2 billion this year, plus 6.1 per cent. average growth year on year until 2004.'.

Liberty without equality is a name of noble sound and squalid result.

Reconstruction has many sides, international and domestic. On the domestic side, one can define its aims best by naming five giant evils to be destroyed: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness.

Simply saying that we can dip into a bottomless pit of resources is not acceptable.

Anything that discourages open access to all universities and their departments in this country is, in my view, wrong. Those who argue for substantial differentiation in fees have to answer where the resources would come from to pay for those on low incomes to enter university departments, given that the top-up fee that they were levying would have to pay for that and for any improvement in quality.--[ Official Report , 23 March 2000; Vol. 346, c. 1106.]

access to higher education should be based on merit not background . . .

We cannot compromise on education, if we are to remain a world class university.

I'm simply very keen that having debated for a week we are able to broaden the agenda which is, unless you raise standards and expectations, then the issue of access becomes more difficult.

Despite everything that has been said, Gordon did not tell Tony that he was going to make an issue of Laura Spence. The whole thing spun out of control. Tony feels it looks as though we are going back to the bad old days when Labour was in the trenches fighting the class war. We've left that sort of thing behind us but Gordon doesn't seem to have got the message and Tony has reminded him of it.

Labour has no plans to introduce tuition fees in higher education.

We are quite clear that tuition costs must be picked up by the state.

to their continuance or to their ethos, or to their quality.

A Labour Government will not close your grammar schools. That is my personal guarantee.

legislate to remove--

grammar schools.--[ Official Report , 20 October 1999; Vol. 336, c. 376.]

Liberal Democrats nationally are opposed in principle to selection for secondary education.

I fully intend to support the Government on the principle of the escalator.--[ Official Report , 6 July 1999; Vol. 334, c. 844.]

smack in the teeth for every teacher and parent.

Britain in which no one is excluded from opportunity and the chance to develop their potential.

our national purpose to tackle social division and inequality.

Education cannot compensate for society.

In hospital, you have to be able to feed yourself as the nurses don't do it. If you are frail, you've had it.

Abolishing university tuition fees up to and including undergraduate level and introducing "hardship benefit" payments in order to increase access.

I think we in government--and that means me--have to trust people more.

We don't have to fight over every headline.

I will take you to my own personal circumstances. I went to a local state primary school, a local comprehensive secondary school, the University of Glasgow and then on a Fulbright scholarship in the United States. I did all that on the basis of competing on a fair and equal basis with other candidates.

on a fair and equal basis with other candidates.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 41, Noes 249.

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All Votes Cast - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which MPs were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible MP including those who did not vote in this division.

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
Mr Martin BellTattonIndependentaye
Nick AingerCarmarthen West and South PembrokeshireLabno
Bob AinsworthCoventry North EastLab (minister)tellno
Douglas AlexanderPaisley SouthLabno
Mr Donald AndersonSwansea EastLab (minister)no
Janet AndersonRossendale and DarwenLab (minister)no
Mr Joe AshtonBassetlawLabno
Ms Candy AthertonFalmouth and CamborneLabno
Kevin BarronRother ValleyLab (minister)no
Hugh BayleyCity of YorkLab (minister)no
Stuart BellMiddlesbroughLab (minister)no
Hilary BennLeeds CentralLabno
Mr Tony BennChesterfieldLabno
Mr Andrew BennettDenton and ReddishLabno
Joe BentonBootleLabno
Roger BerryKingswoodLabno
Mr Harold BestLeeds North WestLabno
Clive BettsSheffield, AttercliffeLab (minister)tellno
Hazel BlearsSalfordLabno
Mr Paul BoatengBrent SouthLab (minister)no
Mr Keith BradleyManchester, WithingtonLab (minister)no
Mr Peter BradleyThe WrekinLabno
Ben BradshawExeterLab (minister)no
Nick BrownNewcastle upon Tyne East and WallsendLab (minister)no
Des BrowneKilmarnock and LoudounLabno
Karen BuckRegent's Park and Kensington NorthLabno
Colin BurgonElmetLabno
Stephen ByersNorth TynesideLab (minister)no
Mrs Anne CampbellCambridgeLabno
Ronnie CampbellBlyth ValleyLabno
Mr Dale Campbell-SavoursWorkingtonLabno
Mr Roger CasaleWimbledonLabno
Martin CatonGowerLab (minister)no
Ian CawseyBrigg and GooleLabno
Ben ChapmanWirral SouthLabno
David ChaytorBury NorthLabno
Michael ClaphamBarnsley West and PenistoneLabno
Dr David ClarkSouth ShieldsLabno
Ms Helen ClarkPeterboroughLabno
Paul ClarkGillinghamLabno
Charles ClarkeNorwich SouthLab (minister)no
Tom ClarkeCoatbridge and ChrystonLabno
David ClellandTyne BridgeLab (minister)no
Ann ClwydCynon ValleyLab (minister)no
Ann CoffeyStockportLabno
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabno
Mr Iain ColemanHammersmith and FulhamLabno
Mr Tony ColmanPutneyLabno
Frank CookStockton NorthLabno
Yvette CooperPontefract and CastlefordLab (minister)no
Mr Robin CorbettBirmingham, ErdingtonLab (minister)no
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabno
Ms Jean CorstonBristol EastLabno
Professor Ross CranstonDudley NorthLab (minister)no
David CrausbyBolton North EastLab (minister)no
Ann CryerKeighleyLabno
John CryerHornchurchLabno
John CummingsEasingtonLabno
Dr Jack CunninghamCopelandLabno
Jim CunninghamCoventry SouthLab (minister)no
Mr Tam DalyellLinlithgowLabno
Mr Keith DarvillUpminsterLabno
Mrs Valerie DaveyBristol WestLabno
Mr Denzil DaviesLlanelliLabno
Geraint DaviesCroydon CentralLab (minister)no
Janet DeanBurtonLabno
John DenhamSouthampton, ItchenLab (minister)no
Andrew DismoreHendonLabno
Frank DobsonHolborn and St PancrasLabno
Brian H DonohoeCunninghame SouthLabno
Jim DowdLewisham WestLab (minister)no
Ms Julia DrownSouth SwindonLabno
Gwyneth DunwoodyCrewe and NantwichLabno
Angela EagleWallaseyLab (minister)no
Maria EagleLiverpool, GarstonLabno
Mr Huw EdwardsMonmouthLabno
Clive EffordElthamLab (minister)no
Louise EllmanLiverpool, RiversideLabno
Jeff EnnisBarnsley East and MexboroughLabno
Frank FieldBirkenheadLabno
Mark FisherStoke-on-Trent CentralLabno
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and Canning TownLabno
Ms Lorna FitzsimonsRochdaleLabno
Paul FlynnNewport WestLabno
Mr Derek FosterBishop AucklandLab (minister)no
Michael FosterWorcesterLabno
Michael Jabez FosterHastings and RyeLabno
Mrs Maria FyfeGlasgow MaryhillLabno
George GallowayGlasgow KelvinLabno
Mike GapesIlford SouthLab (minister)no
Barry GardinerBrent NorthLab (minister)no
Bruce GeorgeWalsall SouthLabno
Ian GibsonNorwich NorthLabno
Roger GodsiffBirmingham, Sparkbrook and Small HeathLabno
Paul GogginsWythenshawe and Sale EastLabno
Mrs Llin GoldingNewcastle-under-LymeLabno
Mrs Eileen GordonRomfordLabno
Ms Jane GriffithsReading EastLabno
Nigel GriffithsEdinburgh SouthLabno
Mr Win GriffithsBridgendLabno
Mr Bruce GrocottTelfordLabno
Mr John GunnellMorley and RothwellLabno
Peter HainNeathLabno
Mike HallWeaver ValeLab (minister)no
Patrick HallBedfordLabno
Fabian HamiltonLeeds North EastLab (minister)no
David HansonDelynLab (minister)no
Sylvia HealHalesowen and Rowley Regiswhilst Labno
John HealeyWentworthLabno
Doug HendersonNewcastle upon Tyne NorthLabno
Keith HillStreathamLab (minister)no
Mr David HinchliffeWakefieldLabno
Margaret HodgeBarkingLab (minister)no
Phil HopeCorbyLabno
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLabno
Kim HowellsPontypriddLab (minister)no
Lindsay HoyleChorleyLabno
Beverley HughesStretford and UrmstonLab (minister)no
Mr Kevin HughesDoncaster NorthLab (minister)no
Joan HumbleBlackpool North and FleetwoodLabno
John HuttonBarrow and FurnessLab (minister)no
Glenda JacksonHampstead and HighgateLabno
Mr David JamiesonPlymouth, DevonportLab (minister)no
Brian JenkinsTamworthLabno
Miss Melanie JohnsonWelwyn HatfieldLab (minister)no
Mr Barry JonesAlyn and DeesideLabno
Fiona JonesNewarkLabno
Mr Jon Owen JonesCardiff CentralLabno
Martyn JonesClwyd SouthLabno
Gerald KaufmanManchester, GortonLab (minister)no
Sally KeebleNorthampton NorthLabno
Ann KeenBrentford and IsleworthLabno
Ruth KellyBolton WestLabno
Fraser KempHoughton and Washington EastLabno
Piara S KhabraEaling, SouthallLabno
Peter KilfoyleLiverpool, WaltonLabno
Ms Oona KingBethnal Green and BowLab (minister)no
Stephen LadymanSouth ThanetLabno
Mrs Jackie LawrencePreseli PembrokeshireLabno
David LepperBrighton, PavilionLabno
Ivan LewisBury SouthLabno
Mrs Helen LiddellAirdrie and ShottsLab (minister)no
Martin LintonBatterseaLabno
Mr David LockWyre ForestLab (minister)no
Mr Calum MacDonaldNa h-Eileanan an IarLabno
Andrew MacKinlayThurrockLabno
Denis MacShaneRotherhamLabno
Fiona MactaggartSloughLabno
Mrs Alice MahonHalifaxLabno
Judy MallaberAmber ValleyLabno
Mr Peter MandelsonHartlepoolLab (minister)no
Gordon MarsdenBlackpool SouthLabno
Eric MartlewCarlisleLabno
Thomas McAvoyGlasgow RutherglenLab (minister)no
Siobhain McDonaghMitcham and MordenLabno
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabno
John McFallDumbartonLabno
Shona McIsaacCleethorpesLabno
Tony McNultyHarrow EastLab (minister)no
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLab (minister)no
Gillian MerronLincolnLabno
Alun MichaelCardiff South and PenarthLabno
Mr Bill MichieSheffield, HeeleyLabno
Alan MilburnDarlingtonLab (minister)no
Austin MitchellGreat GrimsbyLabno
Dr Lewis MoonieKirkcaldyLab (minister)no
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLabno
Elliot MorleyScunthorpeLab (minister)no
Ms Estelle MorrisBirmingham, YardleyLab (minister)no
Sir John MorrisAberavonLabno
Kali MountfordColne ValleyLabno
George MudieLeeds EastLabno
Chris MullinSunderland SouthLab (minister)no
Denis MurphyWansbeckLabno
Jim MurphyEast RenfrewshireLab (minister)no
Paul MurphyTorfaenLab (minister)no
Doug NaysmithBristol North WestLabno
Dan NorrisWansdykeLabno
Mr Bill O'BrienNormantonLabno
Mike O'BrienNorth WarwickshireLab (minister)no
Bill OlnerNuneatonLabno
Mrs Diana OrganForest of DeanLabno
Mr Tom PendryStalybridge and HydeLabno
Mr Peter PikeBurnleyLabno
Mr Chris PondGraveshamLabno
Greg PopeHyndburnLab (minister)no
Steve PoundEaling NorthLab (minister)no
Gordon PrenticePendleLabno
John PrescottKingston upon Hull EastLab (minister)no
Dawn PrimaroloBristol SouthLab (minister)no
Ken PurchaseWolverhampton North EastLabno
Ms Joyce QuinGateshead East and Washington WestLab (minister)no
Mr Lawrie QuinnScarborough and WhitbyLabno
Bill RammellHarlowLabno
Andy ReedLoughboroughLabno
Mrs Barbara RocheHornsey and Wood GreenLab (minister)no
Mr Allan RogersRhonddaLabno
Mr Jeff RookerBirmingham, Perry BarrLab (minister)no
Mr Ernie RossDundee WestLabno
Mr Ted RowlandsMerthyr Tydfil and RhymneyLab (minister)no
Chris RuaneVale of ClwydLab (minister)no
Martin SalterReading WestLabno
Mohammad SarwarGlasgow GovanLabno
Mr Malcolm SavidgeAberdeen NorthLabno
Jonathan R ShawChatham and AylesfordLabno
Mr Robert SheldonAshton-under-LyneLab (minister)no
Ms Debra ShipleyStourbridgeLabno
Clare ShortBirmingham, LadywoodLab (minister)no
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabno
Marsha SinghBradford WestLabno
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)no
Angela SmithBasildonLabno
Geraldine SmithMorecambe and LunesdaleLabno
Jacqui SmithRedditchLab (minister)no
Mr Llew SmithBlaenau GwentLabno
Mr Clive SoleyEaling, Acton and Shepherd's BushLab (minister)no
John SpellarWarleyLab (minister)no
Rachel SquireDunfermline WestLabno
Mr Gerry SteinbergCity of DurhamLabno
Mr George StevensonStoke-on-Trent SouthLabno
Ian StewartEcclesLabno
Howard StoateDartfordLabno
Gavin StrangEdinburgh East and MusselburghLabno
Jack StrawBlackburnLab (minister)no
Gisela StuartBirmingham, EdgbastonLab (minister)no
Mrs Ann TaylorDewsburyLab (minister)no
Dari TaylorStockton SouthLabno
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabno
Mr Gareth ThomasClwyd WestLabno
Gareth ThomasHarrow WestLabno
Stephen TimmsEast HamLab (minister)no
Paddy TippingSherwoodLab (minister)no
Don TouhigIslwynLab (minister)no
Mr Dennis TurnerWolverhampton South EastLab (minister)no
Dr George TurnerNorth West NorfolkLabno
Neil TurnerWiganLabno
Derek TwiggHaltonLabno
Stephen TwiggEnfield, SouthgateLabno
Claire WardWatfordLabno
Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabno
Dave WattsSt Helens NorthLabno
Mr Brian WhiteNorth East Milton KeynesLabno
Alan WhiteheadSouthampton, TestLabno
Malcolm WicksCroydon NorthLab (minister)no
Dr Alan WilliamsCarmarthen East and DinefwrLabno
Alan WilliamsSwansea WestLabno
Betty WilliamsConwyLabno
Michael WillsNorth SwindonLab (minister)no
David WinnickWalsall NorthLab (minister)no
Rosie WintertonDoncaster CentralLabno
Tony WrightCannock ChaseLabno
Derek WyattSittingbourne and SheppeyLabno
Mr Richard AllanSheffield, HallamLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Paddy AshdownYeovilLDem (front bench)aye
Norman BakerLewesLDem (front bench)aye
Mrs Jackie BallardTauntonLDemaye
Tom BrakeCarshalton and WallingtonLDem (front bench)tellaye
Dr Peter BrandIsle of WightLDemaye
Malcolm BruceGordonLDemaye
Mr John BurnettTorridge and West DevonLDemaye
Paul BurstowSutton and CheamLDem (front bench)aye
Menzies CampbellNorth East FifeLDem (front bench)aye
Mr David ChidgeyEastleighLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Brian CotterWeston-Super-MareLDem (front bench)aye
Edward DaveyKingston and SurbitonLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Ronnie FearnSouthportLDemaye
Don FosterBathLDem (front bench)aye
Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDem (front bench)aye
Sandra GidleyRomseyLDemaye
Mike HancockPortsmouth SouthLDem (front bench)aye
Nick HarveyNorth DevonLDem (front bench)aye
David HeathSomerton and FromeLDem (front bench)aye
Simon HughesNorth Southwark and BermondseyLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Nigel JonesCheltenhamLDem (front bench)aye
Paul KeetchHerefordLDemaye
Charles KennedyRoss, Skye and Inverness WestLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Archy KirkwoodRoxburgh and BerwickshireLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Richard LivseyBrecon and RadnorshireLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Robert MaclennanCaithness, Sutherland and Easter RossLDemaye
Mrs Ray MichieArgyll and ButeLDemaye
Mark OatenWinchesterLDemaye
Lembit ÖpikMontgomeryshireLDemaye
Mr David RendelNewburyLDemaye
Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)aye
Adrian SandersTorbayLDem (front bench)aye
Robert SmithWest Aberdeenshire and KincardineLDem (front bench)aye
Andrew StunellHazel GroveLDem (front bench)tellaye
Matthew TaylorTruro and St AustellLDem (front bench)aye
Dr Jenny TongeRichmond ParkLDemaye
Mr Paul TylerNorth CornwallLDemaye
Steve WebbNorthavonLDem (front bench)aye
Phil WillisHarrogate and KnaresboroughLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Simon ThomasCeredigionPCaye
Andrew WelshAngusSNPaye

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