Len McCluskey has discussed the alienation of Unite members in relation to Labour’s current direction as a meeting of the union’s executive voted to cut funding to the party by 10% last night.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight a week in advance of Tuesday’s meeting, McCluskey said many of the executive members of Unite, Labour’s biggest individual donor, were unhappy with the party’s handling of the Panorama libel case.
McCluskey said: “We give significant money to the Labour Party and I well remember when I first took over as general secretary of this union ten years ago my members everywhere were saying ‘why are we giving the Labour Party so much money?’, because they felt that New Labour was letting them down.
“And there will be that demand again, I have no doubt, if things start to move in different directions and ordinary working people start saying, ‘well I’m not sure what Labour stands for’.”
He added: “I’ve got an executive next week and there’s already some anger at the fact that the Labour Party paid out significant sums of money to individuals involved in that Panorama programme…”