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Trade Union Bill - Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 25th April 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Donaghy Baroness Donaghy Chair, Information Committee (Lords) 3:15 pm, 25th April 2016

My Lords, I am sure the noble Lord, Lord Leigh, forgot to declare in his contribution that he was the treasurer of the Conservative Party. I support my noble friend Lord Collins’s amendment to the amendment. Of course we support transparency but Amendment 1 adds another section, which in our view is completely unnecessary.

Many years ago I chaired the general political fund committee of—I think it was NALGO then, before Unison came about—and the amount of information given was extremely elaborate. There was an annual report and a magazine. There was absolutely no doubt about where the expenditure went, and I have no doubt that that information is still communicated.

I just wonder why this “Lord Leigh clause”, as I think I am going to call it, is really necessary. It seems to me that it is the thin end of a wedge and could be utilised in future. Amendment 1 adds an unnecessary burden to the unions. Without proposed new subsection (2E), it would still provide all the information that the Select Committee asked for.