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‘Better to break the law than break the poor,’ says Dawn Butler

LABOUR frontbencher Dawn Butler faced criticism at the weekend after she paid tribute to the Militant-dominated council that ran Liverpool in the 1980s and defied Tory cuts.

Speaking at her party’s women’s conference yesterday, the shadow women and equalities minister hailed the example of left-wing former councillors who set an illegal budget in 1985.

She said: “We are in Liverpool, where, over 30 years ago, the council stood up to Thatcher and said: ‘Better to break the law than break the poor’.”

However, her comments sparked criticism from Labour peers and MPs, who pointed out that the council had also issued redundancy notices to its own employees and failed to protect public services.

Defending Ms Butler, a Labour spokesman said: “The point Dawn was making was that, like the Thatcher government of the 1980s, this Tory government has prioritised tax cuts for the rich while cutting services like women’s refuges that save lives and keep women safe.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, also addressing the women’s conference, said: “The Tories may talk about equality, they may say their government delivers for all, but the lived experience of women in Britain tells a different story.”

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