PM tells Labour: Reject Unite cash over Olympics threat
Wednesday 29 February 2012
David Cameron insisted today that Labour should start "turning back" donations from the Unite union after its general secretary called for civil disobedience during the London Olympics.
Labour leader Ed Miliband described Len McCluskey's comments, also threatening strike action during the Games, as "totally unacceptable and wrong".
But the Prime Minister said Mr Miliband's intervention, in a message on Twitter, was not enough given Unite's financial support for the Labour Party.
"Unite is the single biggest donor to the party opposite, providing around a third of their money, and had more role than anybody else in putting the Right Honourable Gentleman (Mr Miliband) in his place," Mr Cameron said during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.
"It's not good enough for them just to put out a Tweet, they need to condemn this utterly and start turning back the money."
He said Tory MP Richard Graham, who said Mr McCluskey's remarks would "damage the reputation" of the UK, represented the views of "the whole country".
Mayor of London Boris Johnson urged Mr McCluskey to put political differences to one side for the Olympics.
In a letter to the Unite leader, Mr Johnson said: "All political parties are united in wishing to see the Games as a success and highlighting the very best the UK can offer and I am surprised and disappointed that you believe this is an 'opportunity' for trades unions leaders to cause disruption."
He went on: "I really cannot believe that your members agree with you, and I cannot believe they will support your call for what appears to be an entirely politically motivated attack on the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"It may be that you have been misquoted in The Guardian, in which case I would urge you to clarify your remarks as soon as possible.
"Whatever our political differences, I believe we should work together to deliver a Games of which London and the UK can be proud."
Mr Johnson also urged Mr Miliband to "disassociate" himself from Mr McCluskey's comments.
"Long after specific disputes and wranglings are forgotten, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be in the UK's collective memory. I am sure we all agree we want that memory to be one of which we can all be proud," he said in a letter to the Labour leader.
"Therefore I am calling on you, as the Leader of Opposition, with strong and honourable links with the trades union movement, to disassociate yourself fully from such comments and persuade others to do likewise."
Mr Miliband said later it was "totally wrong" to make threats against the Olympics and said he condemned Mr McCluskey's comments.
"It's completely wrong to make any threat to the Olympic Games. I do condemn it. We as a Labour government fought for the Olympic Games to be brought to Britain as part of the cross-party effort," he said.
"It is a moment of national celebration, it is a moment when the focus of the world will be on Britain and I think it is totally wrong to make threats to the Games."
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
- 1 Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photo leak: 'These are completely fake'
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
London 'terror threat': Metropolitan police deny tube attack hoax
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...
£45000 - £53000 Per Annum plus bonus plus package: The Green Recruitment Compa...
£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...