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Thursday, 11 December, 1997, 02:02 GMT
Blair to press ahead with welfare cuts

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has said he will press ahead with reforming the welfare system, despite yesterday's revolt in parliament by members of his own Labour Party who are opposed to cuts in benefits.

Forty-seven Labour MPs voted against government plans to introduce cuts to single parents' welfare benefits; a further fourteen abstained.

Five junior ministers were sacked or resigned over their opposition to the cuts.

An aide for Mr Blair said all the rebels were being interviewed by Labour Party organisers and will receive a strict reprimand.

The government's plans still received overwhelming backing during yesterday's vote, since they were supported by the opposition Conservatives.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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