Unite to cut donations to Labour Party

General Secretary Sharon Graham told The Guardian that donations did not always provide the ‘best value’.

Geraldine Scott
Thursday 02 December 2021 23:14
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham (Sharon Graham Campaign/PA)
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham (Sharon Graham Campaign/PA)

Labour’s biggest union donor is set to cut funding for the party as its boss said more needed to be done for workers.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham told The Guardian that Unite would still pay £1 million in affiliation fees to Labour.

But Ms Graham, who took over from Len McCluskey in August, said in an interview with the newspaper that “there’s a lot of other money that we use from our political fund where, actually, I’m not sure we’re getting the best value for it”.

Len McCluskey, former general secretary of Unite the union (Hollie Adams/PA)

When she took on the role Ms Graham promised to “completely refocus” the union, and at the time said: “I will be a general secretary for the workers, for my members.”

And she declined to attend Labour’s annual conference in Brighton this year as she said current industrial disputes would have to take priority.

The latest move threatens to deepen the divide between Unite and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Although a Labour source said: “Relationships with the unions are good.

Unions have always funded campaigns and causes for their memberships.”

Ms Graham told The Guardian: “The fact that I am being quite robust is because Labour needs to talk about workers, needs to defend workers and needs to defend communities.”

And she said that money would instead be funnelled into projects which would “set the pace” for Labour to follow.

She did not reveal how much funding would be cut by.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in