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Rebel Christian MP hails Sunday trading victory

Thu 10 Mar 2016
By Aaron James

A Christian Conservative MP who defied the government over its plans to relax Sunday trading laws has hailed victory after the proposals were voted down last night.

David Burrowes was one of 27 Conservatives who rebelled against the government over the plans, which would have seen larger shops able to open longer than six hours on a Sunday.

317 MPs voted against the changes, while 286 MPs voted in favour of them.

Ministers hoped a water-down version of the change, which would have seen 12 shops across Britain open longer on Sundays as part of a pilot scheme to see how the changes would work in practice, would be accepted by the Commons.

Changes to Sunday trading laws have now been dropped, and it is the second time the government has lost a vote in the Commons since it took office with a majority in 2015.

The Church has said that relaxing Sunday trading laws would damage family and community life, and that protections for workers would not have worked in practice.

There have also been concerns that shopworkers would lose higher pay for working on Sundays.

The government has said that the move would boost the economy and give shoppers more choice, and that it does not go against Britain's Christian heritage.

The United States, for example, has relaxed Sunday trading laws in many places.


David Burrowes told Premier's Inspirational Breakfast: "We know that Sundays have changed a lot and you can shop if you want to, but we want to make sure that the extension of hours for large shops shouldn't have a particular impact on shopworkers and their families, so very relieved that we managed to win the day.

"It is good news for Christians, it's particularly good news for Christians who're shopworkers who would've felt under that extra pressure to work those extra hours.

"It's good for everyone that they be able to take a break and have a difference on a Sunday, and that's what we were able to respect in Parliament yesterday.

"It was very important that Parliament of all places did show that respect and still wants to keep Sunday special."

Antoine K/Flickr


James Mildred, from the Christian charity CARE, told Premier: "The outcome of the vote tonight is absolutely fantastic, we are absolutely delighted at CARE with the outcome.

"This is a real body-blow for the government, they were trying desperately to shore up last minute support.

"But a very clear message has been sent that Sunday is a special day, and this will be a great victory for families and for workers and for all those who might have felt pressured to work longer hours on a Sunday despite not wanting to."

Listen to Premier's John Pantry and Rosie Wright speaking with David Burrowes on Inspirational Breakfast:

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