Unite union to reduce donations to Labour Party

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Labour’s biggest funder, Unite, has announced it will cut political donations to the party and divert the money to union campaigns.

Sharon Graham, the union’s new general secretary, said: “There’s a lot of money that we use from our political fund where, actually, I’m not sure we’re getting the best value for it”.

In an interview with The Guardian, she said “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.”

Her predecessor, Len McCluskey, had already reduced Unite’s financial commitment to Labour when Sir Keir Starmer took over as leader last year.

Ms Graham said the union would still pay £1 million in affiliation fees. She added that Labour’s reshuffle this week was “white noise” and said the lack of a shadow minister for employment rights was “not a good signal” to send.

Ms Graham skipped the Labour conference in September to focus on industrial disputes. She said she would look to put the money into campaigns that would “set the pace” for Labour to follow.

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