.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Labour in disarray over Falkirk

The Independent reports that the reinstatement of two Labour Party members following allegations of vote-rigging by the Unite union in a parliamentary selection contest in Falkirk has forced Ed Miliband to make an embarrassing retreat.

They say claims that union members were signed up in the Scottish constituency without their knowledge in order to support Unite’s favoured candidate, Karie Murphy, have been withdrawn after complainants changed their evidence:

In a major climbdown by Labour, Ms Murphy was allowed back into the party last night, along with Stevie Deans, chairman of the local party in Falkirk and Unite in Scotland.

They had been suspended by Labour during its own investigation, but the Scottish police found no grounds for a criminal investigation in July after the party referred the case to the authorities.

It was this bitter dispute that formed the catalyst for plans by the party leader, Mr Miliband, to recast the relationship between Labour and its trade union founders. He wants union members to “opt in” to affiliating to the party rather that the present system of “opting out” if they do not wish to support it financially.

Nevertheless, Mr Miliband’s aides vowed that his radical reforms will go ahead – even though furious union leaders have begun to cut their cash support to Labour, which could provoke a financial crisis for the party at the 2015 election.

It seems that Unite’s decision to pay the party membership fees of some new members was within the party rules raising questions as to the extent that the selection process for the Labour's MPs is within the gift of Trade Union barons.

Whatever the outcome, Ed Miliband's actions have rebounded on him and he is left looking weak and isolated at the head of a party divided over his leadership.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?