New Clause 9 - Statements on Bills affecting Trade Union political funds

Part of Trade Union Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 27 October 2015.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Scottish National Party, Glasgow South West 2:45, 27 October 2015

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I refer to remarks I made when we were discussing the proposed schedule to the Bill that interference in political funds in this way is a democratic and constitutional outrage. Trying to suggest, or even thinking, that political advantage is to be gained by changing political funds in this way is wrong. As we have already heard, the approach being taken on this Bill breaches the Churchill convention.

The purpose of the new clause is to ensure that Government will try and seek agreement with all political parties. This is important because it is not just the Labour party that has benefited from trade union funds. Plaid Cymru candidates have received money from trade unions, as have SNP candidates, Green party candidates and candidates from various socialist parties in all their guises. We simply propose a mechanism for dealing with political fund arrangements and to take a gold standard approach to these matters.