Sunderland councillors call for MPs to honour the referendum result 'by facilitating the UK’s exit from the EU'

A marathon council session which had to be spread over two days and heard about seven and a half hours of debate closed with a call for Sunderland’s MPs to break the Brexit deadlock.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 27th September 2019, 5:47 pm
Sunderland councillors call for MPs to honour the referendum result 'by facilitating the UK’s exit from the EU'

The proposal by Conservative members of Sunderland City Council had urged the city’s three representatives to ‘honour [the referendum] result by facilitating the UK’s exit from the EU’.

And after an amendment widened this to include both Tory and Labour Party members in the House of Commons, the motion eventually passed with cross party support.

“The electorate of Sunderland will not allow [the MPs] to subvert their mandate,” said Coun James Doyle, who proposed the motion.

And although he backed the call, Labour council leader Graeme Miller also took a swipe at the opposing party.

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He said: “I think our three Labour MPs would be delighted to be given the authority for the three of them to be able to facilitate a deal with the EU.

“650 MPs have been unable to, 300 Tory MPs have been unable to, David Cameron started this, Theresa May made it worse and Boris Johnson has turned it into a car crash.”

The second day of the meeting, held yesterday afternoon (Thursday, September 19), had to be hastily scheduled after councillors had been unable to get through their whole agenda in reasonable time the day before (Wednesday, September 18).

The second day alone lasted about two and a half hours and included more than 20 separate speeches.

It restarted in the middle of a debate on a motion put forward by the Liberal Democrat group to consider creating a fund to help low income families with the cost of school uniforms.

And despite criticism of ‘hypocrisy’ from Labour councillors against the Lib Dems over their role in the former coalition government, it also passed with cross party support.

Coun Stephen O’Brien, who formally proposed the motion, said: “I’m sure with [planned] cuts to councillors’ Special Responsibility Allowances we could support parents.

“We’re not asking to supply all the school uniforms, we’re asking to provide some support for some families.”