We noted a couple of days ago how an increasing number of union figures are securing Labour candidacies for the coming election.
Today, Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun shares some interesting statistics:
- 59 Labour candidates are members of Unite*, whilst there are eight further PPCs who are current or former Unite staff. Unite has given Labour £11 million in the last three years;
- 26 candidates belong to the GMB, which has given £6.3 million to Labour since 2005;
- 18 candidates belong to Unison, which has contributed £8.3 million to Labour coffers.
That the unions would appear to be buying influence is clear and an obvious matter of concern; but even more relevant right now is that some of these same unions have been behind strikes which cause chaos for the public, whether it be British Airways staff or Royal Mail workers, to cite just two examples.
Voters should not be allowed to forget this.
* 11.15am update: Unite members among BA cabin crew have just voted for seven days of strikes later in the month.
2.15pm update: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Philip Hammond, has said of the Unite strike decision:
“These strikes will cause misery for millions of travellers but the Government is looking the other way. Maybe it’s because Gordon Brown’s spin doctor is channelling millions from the striking union into Labour’s election coffers. Once again, the Prime Minister is putting his own narrow political interests of above those of the British people.”