Ed’s Speech on Unions & Labour

Speaking on Labour Party reform this morning, Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband said:


“I do not want any individual to be paying money to the Labour Party in affiliation fees unless they have deliberately chosen to do so. Individual Trade Union members should choose to join Labour through the affiliation fee, not be automatically affiliated.”


“I have asked Ray Collins, former General Secretary of the Labour Party, to lead work on how to make this a reality.”


“We will have a new code of conduct for those seeking parliamentary selection.”


“We will also urgently agree new spending limits for Parliamentary selections to include for the first time all spending by outside organisations. And the same goes for future selections to the European Parliament and future leadership contests.”


“The Labour Party will establish standard constituency agreements with each trade union so that nobody can allege that individuals are being put under pressure at local level.”


“I repeat my offer that as part of a comprehensive set of changes we should set a cap on donations from individuals, businesses and Trade Unions.”


“I propose for the next London Mayoral election Labour will have a primary for our candidate selection.”


Unions21 supporter union Usdaw has welcomed Ed Miliband’s speech which they have said is a decisive move to clarify the trade union link with the Labour Party and ensure that the relationship is clear to their members and the wider general public. In a statement, the union said “Ed Miliband proposes fundamental changes and we look forward to the extensive discussions that will now take place to work out the detail of the proposals.”


Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett said: “Ed Miliband is right to want a greater individual political engagement with working people. He was right to identify the important jobs that trade unionists do, like our shopworker members who are at the heart of our communities right across Britain. Their experiences, issues and concerns should be at the forefront of Labour’s agenda, so I’m delighted the Leader of the Labour Party wants to extend an invitation to shopworkers and all workers to get engaged and help shape the programme of the party of working people. That can help a future Labour government address the scourge of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers, as highlighted in Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign, amongst many other issues.


“The Labour Party is stronger because of its direct link with millions of working people through their trade union. Usdaw will work with the Labour Party to strengthen that link.”



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