Clegg slams Tories over Trade Union Bill

The Yorkshire Post reports Nick Clegg’s evidence to a parliamentary committee looking at Party funding. He accused the Tories of trying to rig the system in their favour.

Mr Clegg said: “I just think this is fundamentally wrong to do this in such a partisan way.”

The Sheffield Hallam MP said he was no ‘sepia-tinted romantic’ when it came to trade union and Labour links as he had personally suffered from ‘appalling’ use of funds for political purposes in his ‘own Sheffield backyard’.

However he said he was alarmed that Conservative proposals are directed at one party and as Deputy Prime Minister he spent years blocking such measures being introduced.

Giving evidence to the House of Lords select committee on party funding, Mr Clegg said the proposals go against the tradition of cross-party unity on decisions of party finances and introduces an Americanisation of Westminster.

He said: “In America you’ve got this very unseemly tradition of new incumbents in power then busily trying to rig every rule in sight to the detriment of their opponent. We’ve generally avoided that in our country.”

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3 Comments

  • Well said Nick and Mark ! Why must parties go too far !?!Is it any wonder I call myself radical centre and moderate centre left , a bulwark against extremely unnecessary nonsense or worse !

  • Mark, I disagree there’s no need for reform. I don’t think trade unions should be funding any party directly. But obviously the reform needs to be balanced with a maximum donation cap for all sides that prevents wealthy individuals or companies buying the election.

    Labour only have themselves to blame though. Such a deal was on the table in the last parliament and they turned it down. They should have realised that what they need is not direct trade union funding, but just access to trade union member email lists, then they can use crowd sourcing to raise as much as they get at the moment, and potentially a lot more.

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