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Labour backs bill giving ministers longer maternity leave

Party support conditional on government pledging to end discrimination over pay and leave

Labour will back measures allowing six-month maternity leave for cabinet ministers through a bill rushed through parliament later on Thursday but will demand a commitment to tackle maternity protections for women during the pandemic as a price for its support.

The legislation has provoked a backlash among MPs and campaigners because it will offer six months’ paid leave only to ministers – not backbenchers – and will give ministers far more generous rights than the general public.

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