Last night a would-be Labour Parliamentary candidate, who contested the Hornsey & Wood Green selection, hit out on Twitter at the “autocratic monopoly” produced by Unite’s influence on selections. Mandy Richards singled out selections in Hornsey & Wood Green and Lewisham, arguing that they have not been getting the media attention they deserve and that Unite’s influence is blocking a “progressive Labour agenda”.
In Hornsey & Wood Green the selection was won by Unite member Catherine West, who was personally congratulated by Unite’s Len McCluskey on her selection and is a member of Unite herself.
Unite has also been a consistent large donor to the Hornsey & Wood Green Labour party over the last decade, exceeded that of any individual or business in the list of donations declared to the Electoral Commission and also donating more than any other trade union.
Disputes over the power of unions are nothing new to the local Labour Party. Hornsey Labour Party Chair Adam Jogee complained in 2010 that, “Ed [Miliband] has trashed our record to appease the unions”.