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Unite to cut donations to Labour Party

·1 min read

Labour’s biggest union donor is set to cut funding for the party as its boss said more needed to be done for workers.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham told The Guardian that Unite would still pay £1 million in affiliation fees to Labour.

But Ms Graham, who took over from Len McCluskey in August, said in an interview with the newspaper that “there’s a lot of other money that we use from our political fund where, actually, I’m not sure we’re getting the best value for it”.

Len McCluskey at the BBC
Len McCluskey, former general secretary of Unite the union (Hollie Adams/PA)

When she took on the role Ms Graham promised to “completely refocus” the union, and at the time said: “I will be a general secretary for the workers, for my members.”

And she declined to attend Labour’s annual conference in Brighton this year as she said current industrial disputes would have to take priority.

The latest move threatens to deepen the divide between Unite and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Although a Labour source said: “Relationships with the unions are good.

“Unions have always funded campaigns and causes for their memberships.”

Ms Graham told The Guardian: “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.”

And she said that money would instead be funnelled into projects which would “set the pace” for Labour to follow.

She did not reveal how much funding would be cut by.

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