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Secret deal with Lib Dems may end Labour – union link whatever party decides

State funding no thanksThe Sunday Times (£ – but see also the related story at Exaro) yesterday revealed a secret deal between Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories to provide political parties with  £40m in state funding and cap party donations (including from trade unions) at £5,000 which would effectively cut the Labour Party-trade union link whatever is decided at Labour’s special conference on 1 March. The agreement collapsed because of different views about how the money should be allocated (whether it should be based on votes or seats won – which would deprive UKIP and the Greens of any significant funding and also penalise the Lib Dems). But sources close to Miliband confirm that they intended to implement the plan after the 2015 election but had been hoping to keep it secret apart from a vague commitment in the 2015 manifesto to the reform of political funding. The intention is that the £40m (which would be in addition to the £8m already provided to political parties) would be financed by ending the free election post for general and european elections, and instead circulating a booklet including statements from each candidate (as happened in the last London Mayoral election). This would enable a Labour government to claim that there was no new funding to political parties, but also end any form of direct communication between Labour and its supporters in large swathes of rural and Tory Britain. The secret plan is surely an affront to the electorate – who would have been excluded from any real influence in a debate – especially following the IPSA decision to raise MPs’ pay by 11%. It would also be an affront to trade unions and working class voters who would lose the one influence they have over the metropolitan elites who currently wield power in all major parties.

4 Comments

  1. Rod says:

    The political class all want get on board the same gravy train and lock the doors behind them.

    And, if Miliband wins in 2015, there’s nothing you can do to stop this from happening. No doubt, as a loyal Labour Party member, you’ll leave no stone unturned to ensure Miliband gets elected. You’ll bring about the outcome you claim to oppose.

    Yes, it does happen – turkeys do vote for Xmas.

  2. Robert says:

    The draft report is proposing that parties receive funding worth £3 per vote they receive. On the basis of the last election, the Tories would get £32m, Labour £25.8m and the Lib Dems £20.4m. The figures could be higher if tax relief were added.

    Labour gets this this term from the state £5 million the Tories do not since they are in power it called short money and political parties with two sitting MP would get funding.

    The fact is this story is pretty old in fact I think 2010 or11 and all parties ended up giving up, but it is believed that labour are now willing to give in to the Tories demands to allow them to have £50,000 from donors if they can also have the same from Unions.

    Like it or not state funding is coming in.

  3. Rod says:

    “Like it or not state funding is coming in.”

    Indeed.

    And the dumping of the unions will provide a superb opportunity for the name change from Labour to Progress Party.

    I notice that the odds are shortening on Tristan Hunt as the next Labour leader – down from 33/1 to 16/1 in less than two months.

    Tristan will make a very fine leader of the Progress Party.

  4. swatantra says:

    There must be no secret deals with the Lib Dems this side of an Election. The Public would simply disttrust any Party that did enter into any deals. However when we end up with a Hung Parliament, as surely we will in 2015, the deals can take place.

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