The cleanest money in British politics is the subscriptions that trade unions collect from their members and pass to the Labour party, the TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady claims.
Her speech was the first the TUC has heard from a female general secretary in its history, Ms O’Grady having taken over the job after last year’s annual TUC conference. She used her address to defend the role unions have played in funding Labour since its inception, now under attack from the government’s Lobbying bill.
“Union money – the few pence freely given every week, by nurses, shop workers and truck drivers – is the cleanest cash in politics today,” she said. “Whether unions set up a political fund is a matter for members, not ministers, because for too long, politics has been controlled by those who already have far too much money and far too much power. Half of the Conservative Party’s funding comes from the City.”
Ms O’Grady also accused the Tories of trying to discredit unions by calling them Labour’s “paymasters”.