Union boss slams Labour ‘retreads’

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Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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The leader of Britain’s biggest union has launched a withering attack on senior Labour politicians who he accused of “stabbing the party in the back”.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, condemned those within the party he accused of “undermining” the leadership of Ed Miliband.

He urged the Labour leader not to be deterred by “Blairite retreads” and said union members and officers should help Labour win the general election in May.

He told a meeting in Birmingham of over 1,000 Unite officers that he had asked the union’s executive to provide donations of £2.5 million to Labour’s election fund, saying it was their “duty to democracy.”

He said: “The electorate is today poised between fear and hope. Fear is the basis of the Ukip menace – blame someone else for all the problems, usually immigrants or foreigners, and seek refuge in an imagined past.

“But it is hope that is blossoming today as we have seen in last week’s magnificent election result in Greece. Labour needs to bottle some of the Syriza spirit and take that anti-austerity agenda to the people here.

“What it doesn’t need is the Blairite retreads – the people who sucked the life out of the last Labour government – attacking every progressive impulse, like the mansion tax and saving our NHS.

“So I say to Peter Mandelson, Alan Milburn and John Hutton: stick to counting your money, and stop stabbing Labour in the back.

“And I say to Ed Miliband – have the courage of your convictions and ignore these blasts from the past.”

Mr McCluskey said the Tories will receive millions of pounds from hedge funds and “shadowy dinner clubs of big businessmen”, adding: “Our money is clean, transparent to the public, democratically-sanctioned and honestly accounted for. It’s the pennies of our members each week, not the ill-gotten gains of the ruling elite.

“There can be no doubt that Labour’s commitments will make a huge difference – there’s no need to be mealy-mouthed or half-hearted about this – and will provide a platform for tackling the crippling inequalities in our society.

“If we lose the election, we understand how much harder that life will be for the people we serve.”

Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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