Miliband will not break Labour’s union ties
Ed Miliband has promised to mend ties with unions amidst the Falkirk Labour party candidate selection dispute. Allegations that the union Unite is responsible for rigging local elections by paying for people’s memberships in exchange for a secure vote in their favour have arisen from Linda Gow, a Falkirk Labour councillor.
Though he was accused of igniting the matter by involving the police, Miliband pledged to “mend … not end” the party’s historic relationship with the trade unions. However, Len McCluskey, a key leader of Unite, which gave £3.6 million to the Labour party last year, refuses to acknowledge any fault in the matter. In fact, he stated that Ed Miliband should “step back from the brink of a ruinous division” and “playing into the hands” of the Conservative party. Unite supporters believe that they were within their legal rights to secure a local council seat for working class candidates rather than Labour party favourites.
In his article in the Observer, Miliband pledged that the way forward was through reforms which would safeguard future selections to be “always fair, open and transparent” so that the Falkirk fiasco would “never happen again”. Though his address hinted at a possible alteration in the relationship between unions and the Labour party, he also stated that “to cut these individuals loose would be to make politics more out of touch, not less, more remote from working people”, vowing to mend the relationship instead.