Cook to quit union after 27 years over funding row

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Indy Politics

Robin Cook is to resign from the RMT transport union after 27 years in protest at its decision to withdraw funding from his constituency Labour Party.

Robin Cook is to resign from the RMT transport union after 27 years in protest at its decision to withdraw funding from his constituency Labour Party.

In an interview with The Independent, the Leader of the Commons disclosed that he is to join John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, in leaving after the union switched cash support to left-wing MPs prepared to campaign for RMT policies. He said: "I am going to resign from the RMT. I say that with a heavy heart. I regret I am not able to continue my links. I think the way John Prescott has been treated is particularly unfair."

He insisted he could not accept being required by the RMT to express views in return for a payment: "I'm not going to sign up to a separate manifesto to that of the Labour Party or a specific set of commitments which limits my freedom in the House."

The union link is under pressure elsewhere. The Government will be warned this week about growing disaffection at Unison, the Labour Party's biggest affiliate, over ministers' refusal to intervene in Wednesday's 24-hour local government strike. Dave Prentis, the leader of Unison, will say it could have "serious consequences" for the link between the union and the party.

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