Labour party takes millions from unions behind wave of winter strikes

Labour is in hock to the unions crippling Britain: Party takes millions from workers’ groups behind wave of winter strikes, data shows

  • Electoral Commission handed Labour £1.6million in the third quarter of this year
  • This sent the party’s donations soaring past the total for the Tories  
  • Starmer’s party declared more than £4m from Unite, Unison and GMB in last year
  • It also accepted almost £500,000 from the Communication Workers Union 

Labour is taking millions of pounds from the unions trying to cripple Britain with strikes, new figures showed last night.

Data released by the Electoral Commission reveals they handed Labour £1.6million in the third quarter of this year, sending the party’s donations soaring past the total for the Tories.

More than £1.2million was given by Unite, Unison and the GMB – the three main unions behind devastating ambulance strikes announced yesterday. More than one million workers from nearly every major trade union have either confirmed industrial action this winter or are being balloted on walkouts.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party has declared more than £4million from Unite, Unison and the GMB in the past 12 months.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party has declared more than £4million from Unite, Unison and the GMB in the past 12 months. Pictured: Labour leader Sir Kia Starmer during a Labour Party press conference at Nexus, University of Leeds, in Yorkshire

It also accepted almost half a million pounds from the Communication Workers Union, whose members have launched strikes which threaten to cause havoc with Christmas deliveries.

Donations have also come in from Aslef and the TSSA, whose members have teamed up with the RMT union to cause chaos for rail travellers.

The Fire Brigades Union, which is balloting members for strike action over an ‘insulting’ 5 per cent pay offer, also chipped in to Labour’s coffers.

Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi said Labour was being ‘propped up’ by unions bent on disrupting the lives of millions of ordinary people.

More than £1.2million was given by Unite, Unison and the GMB – the three main unions behind devastating ambulance strikes announced yesterday 

‘Spineless Keir Starmer refuses to condemn militant strikes wrecking Christmas because he’s in hock to his union baron paymasters propping up the Labour Party’s coffers,’ he added.

Senior Labour figures have refused to condemn the wave of disruptive strikes called by union leaders this winter in pursuit of double-digit pay increases.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner said she supported the right to take industrial action, adding: ‘If we had a Labour government we wouldn’t be in this situation. The RMT don’t want to take action, I want to see that strike action avoided.’

The new figures came as:

  • Unions announced that tens of thousands of ambulance workers will walk out on December 21 over pay;
  • Rishi Sunak was under pressure to try to avoid a new ‘winter of discontent’;
  • Hospitality bosses warned that rail strikes next week would cost pubs and restaurants more than £1.5billion;
  • Donations to the Conservatives slumped 40 per cent;
  • The Ministry of Defence confirmed the military was prepared to help maintain vital public services; 
  • Ministers stepped up work on options for toughening up strike laws; 
  • New polling revealed that opinion was turning against the rail unions, with just 37 per cent now sympathetic.

Mrs Rayner yesterday described RMT chief Mick Lynch, pictured, as ‘incredibly reasonable’ and claimed the real militants were ministers refusing to approve pay rises

The Electoral Commission figures reveal that Labour received £4.7million from July to September, more than any other party. This included £1.9million of public money. Of the remaining £2.8million, 57 per cent came from the trade unions with £725,000 from Unite, £290,000 from the GMB, £198,000 from Unison and £109,000 from the CWU.

Former Tory minister Sir John Hayes said the figures showed Labour was in hock to a ‘militancy which is at odds with the patriotic sentiments of law-abiding and hard-working Britons’.

Labour denied that Sir Keir’s decision to sit on the fence over strikes was driven by his reliance on union funding.

A spokesman said the party had a ‘broad funding base with the largest proportion coming from our members and small donors’. A source added: ‘Labour doesn’t support industrial action that disrupts the public. The Tories have the power to put a stop to the strikes and end this disruption. It’s Rishi Sunak’s weak leadership that has caused this chaos. They need to get a grip.’

Mrs Rayner yesterday described RMT chief Mick Lynch as ‘incredibly reasonable’ and claimed the real militants were ministers refusing to approve pay rises.

Mr Lynch said: ‘The price of labour is not the right price in this country … what the unions have got to do is correct that.’  

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