Parts of Tory trade union bill resemble General Franco's dictatorship, says Tory MP David Davis

The proposals would force strikers on picket lines to register with police

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Indy Politics

Parts of the Tories’ trade union crackdown resemble measures enforced under General Franco’s Spanish dictatorship, one of the party’s senior MPs has said.

David Davis, a former shadow Home Secretary and noted civil libertarian, criticised the idea that individual people on picket lines should be forced to register with the police.

“I agree with most of the Trade Union Bill - I think it's very sensible,” he told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News.

“But there are bits of it which look OTT, like requiring pickets to give their names to the police force. What is this? This isn't Franco's Britain, this is Queen Elizabeth II's Britain.”

David Davis criticised part of his party's proposal

General Franco was the dictator of Spain between 1936 and 1975, ruling a hard-right ultra-nationalist one-party state.

The criticism of the proposed law comes after a YouGov poll found that 65 per cent of the public are against provisions in it to bring temporary agency staff to break public sector strikes.


The Trade Union Bill includes sweeping provisions including proposals to ban strikers from using social media and to introduce higher voting thresholds for industrial action.

There are also new requirements for employers to be given longer notice of strikes and for workers to re-ballot themselves after four months of agreeing to take action.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said the bill would balance the rights of people wanting to take action “with those of working people and business”.