Britain's opposition Labour to force vote on May's austerity, pay cap

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament Wednesday

In a Commons debate with Mrs May, Mr Corbyn highlighted budget cuts to fire services and local authorities, which are responsible for inspecting buildings.

The checks are continuing across the country following the June 14 fire, which was apparently stoked by the building's flammable exterior cladding.

But later, May's spokesman said the policy on public sector pay had not changed.

The opposition Labour party is hoping to exploit concerns within May's Conservative party that voters are tiring of its seven-year spending squeeze.

But after John Bercow had called for calm, Corbyn carried on: "When you cut local authority budgets by 40% we all pay a price in public safety".

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the Government should back Labour's amendment if it is "serious about addressing all aspects" of the Grenfell Tower fire. "This disaster must be a wake-up call".

May, whose governing Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in the June 8 election, has signalled she will listen more closely to Britons who are tired of the kind of cuts that some blame for a fire in west London that killed at least 80 people.

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But May pushed back, defending both her party and the former coalition government to argue that "the cladding of tower blocks began under the (Tony) Blair government" and that fire regulation checks had been amended as the result of a 2005 Labour government initiative.

After the terms of the deal between the government and the D.U.P. were made public on Monday, Corbyn denounced the agreement as not "in the national interest, but in the interest of Theresa May and the Conservatives' own political survival".

The Democratic Unionist Party, which has 10 lawmakers in Westminster, agreed to vote with the Conservatives as part of the deal with Theresa May that they struck earlier this week. But the backing - pledged after the government promised more than 1 billion pounds ($1.29 billion) in new spending in Northern Ireland - does not apply to other issues.

But the DUP is demanding £2 billion investment in health and infrastructure projects of Northern Ireland, and warning that the party can not be "taken for granted".

The election left the Conservatives several votes short of a parliamentary majority and severely undermined the authority of May, who called the snap vote in a misjudged attempt to increase her grip on power ahead of Brexit negotiations.

Its leftist leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said the fire and attacks by Islamist militants made it clear that emergency service workers "deserve the pay rise they have been denied for seven years".

The vote is expected at around 1800 GMT.

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