A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No.10 replies on party funding and the union link

In my post below about the potential threat to the union link posed by the party funding review, I said "If anyone in No10 is reading this, please tell me the Guardian report is inaccurate".

John McTernan, Head of Political Operations at No10 has posted this response:

"John McTernan said...
Someone in No 10 is reading this and the Guardian report is totally untrue. I can do better than to give an account of what the Prime Minister said to the PLP Parliamentary Committee yesterday afternoon:

The Prime Minister attended the Parliamentary Committee where he was asked about Hayden Phillips Review of Party Funding. The PM made clear that he will do nothing that would break the link. In the discussion he said that the party has some serious decisions to make about party funding. If the status quo remains then Lord Ashcroft's money will mean that the Labour Party will be massively outspent in key Labour seats at the next General Election. We need annual spending limits and local spending limits to be introduced if there is to be a level playing field at the next election.The Tory Party want a cap on donations but they are resisting spending limits. Hayden Phillips needs to recognise that trade union funding is already highly regulated. He is proposing a model where trade unionists opt into paying the levy. That is completely unacceptable to the Labour Party."


Blogger parburypolitica said...

Nice to know.

4:21 pm, December 14, 2006

Anonymous Jo said...

What a scoop! Well done, Luke.

5:02 pm, December 14, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Luke... that's the best news I've had in a not good news week!

It will force the Tories to attack the unions and blow the nice-guy Cameron gimmick.

6:37 pm, December 14, 2006

Anonymous the anecdotal said...

Bloody hell, the skids must really be under no 10 if the hounds are out replying to dross blogs like this!

7:39 pm, December 14, 2006

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Bob

Careful. Luke's done us all a service, that's true - now let's see if he can get us an answer to this one?

Save the Labour Party is still wondering why we ever needed the Hayden Phillips Inquiry in the first place.

If John McTernan is reading this perhaps he can enlighten us as to what purpose reopening the issue of political party funding 15 months after the Electoral Commission had reported on the matter was intended to serve from a Labour Party perspective.

But let's get to the nub of the current brou-haha. Why has Haden Phillips apparently completely ignored the Labour Party position agreed at Conference, and specifically who attended a meeting on behalf of the Labour Party with Hayden Phillips which resulted in Phillips revising his 'proposals' circulated privately after his Interim Report published in October, much to the angst of the brothers and sisters and the majority of the PLP and NEC. Publication of the two privately circulated 'proposals', and notes of all the meetings between Labour Party representatives and Hayden Phillips since Conference would be necessary to shed real light on this affair. Hopefully, the emergency meeting of the NEC tonight will bring this farrago to an end.

Labour does not need Tory votes in Parliament to legislate for a cap on Ashcroft spending in the battle for the marginals.

We don't want legislation to regulate donations. Conference agreed a voluntary approach. Was there any reproach of Hayden Phillips from the Prime Minister at yesterday's PLP Parliamentary Committee meeting? Apparently not. Yet Hayden Phillips not only ignored the democratically agreed Labour Party position, but has apparently gone way outside his terms of reference seeking to impose fresh regulation on the Trade Unions.

Civil servants were never much good coping with democracy, great at doing their master bidding though. Time to write him off?

Let's hope so.


8:20 pm, December 14, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's make love in London!

3:26 am, December 15, 2006

Anonymous Malcolm Clark said...

If the Ashcroft money is our real concern, there is a better way of taking it out of the equation ... by getting rid of the absolute focus on marginals. Introducing some form of electoral reform would mean shifting parties' efforts to competing for votes across a much wider area and number of seats, so dissipating the effect of large amounts of money being poured into a few key battlegrounds.

1:54 pm, December 15, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't want legislation to regulate donations.

Peter Kenyon is obviously the sort of idiot who, when kicked in the head by the Tories, apologises for having scuffed their boot.

9:29 pm, December 15, 2006

Anonymous Bite-size Brian said...

I said "If anyone in No10 is reading this, please tell me the Guardian report is inaccurate".

As readers of this blog know, Luke's stats are very accurate, so he knows who is reading his blog, and where they are. So, why wasn't the original post called "Downing Street is reading my blog?", as that is really what those two posts were about, you vain little man.

11:09 am, December 16, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid Harry Paerkins has some rather more disturbing stuff up about this.

I'm absolutely lived, but I would be lying if I didn't say that I've seen this coming for years.

10:13 pm, December 17, 2006


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