Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Labour Marginals Fear Union Funding Backlash

Imagine the outcry there would be if a businessman admitted funding individual election campaigns as long as the Tory Party played ball on promoting private pensions. Today UNISON announced it was withdrawing funding from Labour MPs in marginal seats in the North West unless Labour reversed its policy on public sector pensions. Most affected will be Labour MP David Borrows whose South Ribble constituency has a wafer thin majority. Borrows now faces a dilemma. Does he tell UNISON to sod off and risk having no funds available to fight the already very active Tory candidate Lorraine Fulbrook, or will he speak up for his union paymasters? We'll be watching with interest.


Bob Piper said...

Iain, where precisely does this story come from? I've searched the internet without success, and spoken to some senior people in UNISON in Manchester and they are mystified by it.

Anonymous said...

The MP for South Ribble is called David Borrow, without the S!

Anonymous said...

Its interesting if UNISON are denying it - According to Labour Watch who have more further details, -
"Unison Labour Link", the structure by which the giant public services union Unison deals with its relations with the Labour Party, has suspended its support for Labour.

Its statement reads:

In the circumstances of the union taking national industrial action against the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, named as Regulator and decision maker regarding the LGPS, in is felt that it is not appropriate or politically sensible to be organising, on one hand, for industrial action by the union while sending out letters and leaflets to many of the same members asking them to vote Labour.The decision has been taken to suspend our election campaigning work for Labour in the May elections while the industrial action is going on.Labour Link will not be giving any further donations or support to the campaign until we reach a solution to the present LGPS issue.This is a decision that affects our work for Labour’s election campaign in May nationally and locally.

Anonymous said...

A quick search on the Electoral Commission website shows that UNISON alone has made £9 million worth of registered donations to parties (all bar a handful to Labour) since 2001.

Bob Piper said...

anonymous... unless I'm very much mistaken, that statement makes no mention of a) Labour MPs;
b) withdrawing funds from MPs;
or c) the North West.

Apart from that, Iain's speculation may be right in every respect.