GMB slashes Labour party funding by over 90% Wednesday, 4 September 2013 7:57 AM By Adam Bienkov One of Britain’s largest unions has slashed its funding of the Labour party following Ed Miliband’s plans to reform its link with trade unions. The GMB said it would reduce its contribution to Labour by over 90% from £1.2 million to around £150,000 a year. A spokesperson for the union said the decision was due to Ed Miliband’s failure to understand the relationship between trade unions and the Labour party. In a statement this morning, the union’s leadership “expressed considerable regret about the apparent lack of understanding the proposal mooted by Ed Miliband will have on the collective nature of trade union engagement with the Labour party”. They added: “A further source of considerable regret to the [GMB] is that the party that had been formed to represent the interest of working people in this country intends to end collective engagement of trade unions in the party they helped to form.” Miliband announced earlier this year that trade union members will in future have to “opt in” to allow their union fees to fund the Labour party. The GMB say they expect just 50,000 of their members to now fund the party, down from over 400,000. They also announced plans to cut their wider political fund, as well as their contribution to regional Labour party campaigns. Labour’s former campaign chief Tom Watson warned this morning that GMB’s decision could be “beginning of the end” of Labour’s link with the unions. He wrote on his blog: “If this is the beginning of the end of that historic link, it is a very serious development that threatens a pillar of our democracy that has endured for over one hundred years. “Some will scoff but they are fools to do so. That party card stands for something more than confirmation that an annual direct debit has been processed.” The Labour leadership this morning tried to downplay the move by GMB. Shadow Treasury minister Rachel Reeves told the Today programme: “Most of the money that the Labour party receives comes from ordinary donations. Of course we welcome the support we get from the trade unions, but this is a decision for the GMB.” She added: “I’m confident more people will sign up and get involved in the Labour party and get out campaigning.” Other Labour MPs hit back at the union with Alan Johnson telling the BBC: “I hope this is not a piece of petty retribution. I would hope the GMB are above that.” Miliband’s decision to alter Labour’s link with the unions followed a row over the alleged rigging of the selection process for the Falkirk by-election. Other trade unions are still considering their response to the reforms. Earlier this year the general secretary of Labour’s biggest funder, Unite, warned that the plans could bankrupt the party. Miliband is due to address the Trade Union Congress about his reforms next week. Tags: ed miliband, gmb union, labour GMB say Miliband doesn’t understand union link 0 comments Politics Guide British political party funding Social Democrat and Labour party (SDLP) Labour Opinion Former News BFAWU: Ed Miliband must “put clear blue water” between Labour and Tories BFAWU leader calls on Labour leader Ed Miliband to put clear “blue water” between the Labour Party and the Conservatives, warning that support for from the trade unions for Labour “must be reciprocated.” ABI: Labour pension reform policy has “back of an envelope feel about it” Responding to the Labour policy document on pension reform, Otto Thoresen, Director General, Association of British Insurers said: Unite: Ed Miliband delivers ‘on your side speech’ Ed Miliband has delivered a ‘Key’ speech on the economy and drawn the dividing line for the election in 2015 say Unite. Related News Ed Miliband attacks government over ‘cost of living crisis’ Labour today went on the offensive against the government’s economic record as further signs emerged that the UK economy continues to recover. 1 comments ‘Uncomradely’ row threatens Labour unity Labour’s autumn conference is set to be the battleground for another internal fight between the party’s left-wing and centrist wings, developments this week suggest. 3 comments Union leader: Just 10% of our members would join Labour The size of the challenge facing Ed Miliband was thrown into stark relief this morning, after a prominent union leader warned just ten per cent of his members would be likely to join Labour. 0 comments Related Analysis and Comment Sketch: Kisses and umbrellas at Miliband’s Labour love-in It was as if a loveless couple had finally discovered their passion. Ed Miliband and the Labour party were making up for lost time. 1 comments Labour 2012: Out of power and short of policies Labour’s third annual conference out of power is proving a flat affair. Party morale is slowly rebuilding after its ejection from power in 2012, but the long wait until the next contest is making the opposition sag in the middle. 0 comments Everything you need to know about the Labour-union row in five minutes Ed Miliband is being both bold and stupid. That is what those in the world of Westminster diplomatically refer to as ‘courageous’. 1 comments

One of Britain’s largest unions has slashed its funding of the Labour party following Ed Miliband’s plans to reform its link with trade unions.

The GMB said it would reduce its contribution to Labour by over 90% from £1.2 million to around £150,000 a year.

A spokesperson for the union said the decision was due to Ed Miliband’s failure to understand the relationship between trade unions and the Labour party.

In a statement this morning, the union’s leadership “expressed considerable regret about the apparent lack of understanding the proposal mooted by Ed Miliband will have on the collective nature of trade union engagement with the Labour party”.

They added: “A further source of considerable regret to the [GMB] is that the party that had been formed to represent the interest of working people in this country intends to end collective engagement of trade unions in the party they helped to form.”

Miliband announced earlier this year that trade union members will in future have to “opt in” to allow their union fees to fund the Labour party.

The GMB say they expect just 50,000 of their members to now fund the party, down from over 400,000.

They also announced plans to cut their wider political fund, as well as their contribution to regional Labour party campaigns.

Labour’s former campaign chief Tom Watson warned this morning that GMB’s decision could be “beginning of the end” of Labour’s link with the unions.

He wrote on his blog: “If this is the beginning of the end of that historic link, it is a very serious development that threatens a pillar of our democracy that has endured for over one hundred years.

“Some will scoff but they are fools to do so. That party card stands for something more than confirmation that an annual direct debit has been processed.”

The Labour leadership this morning tried to downplay the move by GMB.

Shadow Treasury minister Rachel Reeves told the Today programme: “Most of the money that the Labour party receives comes from ordinary donations. Of course we welcome the support we get from the trade unions, but this is a decision for the GMB.”

She added: “I’m confident more people will sign up and get involved in the Labour party and get out campaigning.”

Other Labour MPs hit back at the union with Alan Johnson telling the BBC: “I hope this is not a piece of petty retribution. I would hope the GMB are above that.”

Miliband’s decision to alter Labour’s link with the unions followed a row over the alleged rigging of the selection process for the Falkirk by-election.

Other trade unions are still considering their response to the reforms.

Earlier this year the general secretary of Labour’s biggest funder, Unite, warned that the plans could bankrupt the party.

Miliband is due to address the Trade Union Congress about his reforms next week.

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About truelabour

Investigative Journalist/Researcher for major media. Exposing the truth and police corruption with in UK police service.Certain forces say their motto is Honesty & Integrity One must ask is it lip service or genuinely meant. CO-OP Labour Party member questioning is the party standing for working class of Britain. Trade Union Activist & promoting diversity,community cohesion within multicultural Britain. Anti fascist speaks out against all foams of discrimination.
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