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Blistering times

Sulphurous - that's how one Labour backbencher described Monday's meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party which was addressed by the Prime Minister.

Tony Lloyd
Tony Lloyd

And Kate Hoey wasn't alone in expressing grave concern about the state of the party at the moment.

There's a nervousness about some Labour MPs - they're rattled by decisions such as the abolition of the 10 pence lower rate tax band - a change which comes into force today just weeks before the 1st May local elections.

While the Treasury has confirmed that 5.3m households will be worse off as a result, tomorrow the Select Committee which scrutinises it is reported to be planning to condemn the plan as an outrageous attack on the poor.

All this on top of the gloom about the economy, fuel prices, housing and mortgage rates and the prospect of losing local post offices.

We asked the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, Tony Lloyd, about the mood among the backbenchers he represents.

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