Union withdraws opposition to Labour Party reforms

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The Independent Online
Tony Blair's chances of introducing fundamental reforms of the Labour Party were enhanced yesterday, when the united union front against his proposals began to fall apart. In contrast to the other big party affiliates, the GMB general union, declared that it had no major problems with Mr Blair's plans.

John Edmonds, general secretary of the GMB, attempted to put some distance between himself and other union leaders who attended a secret meeting on Tuesday in which affiliates declared their opposition to the reforms. Labour officials will now have to convince more of the big batallions to follow suit.

A spokeswoman for the GMB said the Party into Power document which had angered other unions was not seen as an attempt to change radically the nature of the party. In particular, the GMB was relaxed about the inability of unions and constituencies to put motions to the annual conference, she said.