How Labour leadership candidates tried to explain not opposing the welfare bill... and how Labour supporters reacted

Controversial legislation that will cut welfare spending by £12 billion has passed its first hurdle in the Commons, by 308 votes to 124.

Forty-eight of Labour's 216 MPs went against the party whip and voted against the bill, but only Jeremy Corbyn, of the four leadership candidates, rebelled.

Andy Burnham – abstained

(Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Burnham explained why, despite his opposition to the child tax credit policy, he abstained in line with interim leader Harriet Harman, as follows:

The Tories want to use this period to brand us in the way they did in 2010. We must not allow that to happen.

Collective responsibility is important and it is what I would expect as leader of our party. It is why I will be voting for our Reasoned Amendment and, if it is defeated, abstaining on the Bill.

But I can reassure you that this is only the beginning of a major fight with the Tories. I am determined that we will fight this regressive Bill line by line, word by word in Committee.

His statement did not go down well on Facebook or Twitter:

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