Union paymasters cut cash to Labour in blow to Keir Starmer as Unite focuses on Left-wing activists
Arbeid’s trade union paymaster is to cut its donations to the party and give money to Left-wing campaigns instead.
Unite’s new general secretary Sharon Graham questioned whether it gets good value for the millions it gives to the opposition.
Her dramatic move could severely damage leader Sir Keir Starmer‘s campaigning ahead of the next general election – the union has handed the central party, local Labour groups and candidates £40million over the past decade.
Miss Graham told The Guardian last night that Unite would still pay £1million in annual affiliation fees to Labour.
Labour’s trade union paymaster is to cut its donations to the party. Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham (op die foto) queried if it gets good value for millions it gives to the opposition
Maar sy het aangegaan: ‘There’s a lot of other money that we use from our political fund where, eintlik, I’m not sure we’re getting the best value for it.’
Sy het gese: ‘The fact that I am being quite robust is because Labour needs to talk about workers, needs to defend workers and needs to defend communities.’
Unite had already reduced its financial contributions to Labour since hard-Left Jeremy Corbyn was replaced by Sir Keir.
But Miss Graham, who was elected leader of Britain’s biggest private sector union earlier this year, could go further still.
She said she wanted to put money into campaigns that would ‘set the pace’ for Labour to follow, citing plans in Scotland for a nationalised care service.
‘If we can drive that through, then let’s put the resource in Scotland, let’s get some campaigning going on there properly,’ sy het gese.
Her dramatic move could damage leader Sir Keir Starmer’s campaigning – the union has handed the central party, local Labour groups and candidates £40m over the past decade
Miss Graham did not attend Labour’s conference in September and has clashed with London mayor Sadiq Khan over his claim that a Tube strike was unnecessary.
She said politicians were out of touch with ordinary people who are ‘angry’ and ‘in pain’.
It is the latest in a series of blows to Labour’s finances. The GMB union is reviewing its funding after its new general secretary, Gary Smith, admitted many of his members are no longer Labour voters.
GMB also withdrew all funding for the party in London in the summer after a Labour-run council sacked a long- serving caretaker.
In September, the Left-wing bakers’ union, the BFAWU, disaffiliated from Labour, accusing it of losing touch with working-class organisations.
Labour had already been under pressure financially after fighting three general elections in four years, while its loss of 59 seats in 2019 means that it now receives far less public funding for opposition parties, known as ‘Short Money’.