Keir Starmer was plunged into a row with the left of his party after Andy McDonald resigned over the leader’s refusal to back the policy
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Labour members have officially backed a motion to increase the minimum wage to £15-an-hour across the country.
Sir Keir Starmer was plunged into a row with the left wing of the party by opposing the motion at the party conference in Brighton.
The Labour leader stuck to plans to raise it to at least £10-per-hour, with an amount to be decided only before the next election.
Sir Keir told ITV News: “We were very clear on Saturday a £10 minimum wage which is a 12% increase and means £2,000 in real money for those that would benefit under that.
“That is significant, that is our policy and it is alongside a wider package of measures to protect people at work – including day 1 rights and including statutory sick pay..”
But members tonight passed the motion on a show of hands.
It’s understood Sir Keir does not regard the motion as binding – but is relaxed about it passing and agrees with most of its contents. The £15 wage commitment was one element of a lengthy motion on workers’ rights and fire and rehire.
It comes a day after Andy McDonald quit his Shadow Cabinet position after he was told to argue against the rise.
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The Shadow Employment Rights Secretary said this made his position “untenable”.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the BBC a £15-an-hour minimum wage was something the party “should be supporting and campaigning for”.
The current minimum wage is £8.91 for those 23 and over, £8.36 for those aged 21 and 22, and £6.56 for 18 to 20-year olds.
The Unite union, who put the motion forward, said Labour must be an anti-austerity party if they want to win the next election.
The union said the party must defend jobs, improve living standards and increase taxes on the wealthiest in the country.
Sir Keir said he was not happy to see the departure of Mr McDonald, the last ally of the former leader in his top team.
He said Mr McDonald was wrong to say “our movement is more divided than ever”.
Labour’s Party Conference has been dominated by internal rows, which included disagreements over rules to elect future leaders.
The change was voted in despite being opposed by the left.