PM Gordon Brown should ‘come clean’ over Unite

WELWYN Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has accused the Prime Minister of ducking a parliamentary question over his party’s links with the trade union Unite.

Mr Shapps had asked Gordon Brown how many meetings he had held with representatives of the UK’s largest union, which is currently locked in a bitter industrial dispute with British Airways (BA), over the last 12 months.

But in a brief reply, the premier simply said: “I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a range of subjects.”

Formed in 2007, Unite is the Labour party’s biggest donor.

However, the relationship between the two has recently come under scrutiny after Unite cabin crew members went on strike at BA.

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The PM himself has condemned the strike action, but Tory leader David Cameron hit back and described Labour as a “wholly owned subsidiary of Unite”.

Speaking to the WHT, Mr Shapps said he felt Unite had a “disproportionate” influence on the Labour party.

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He also expressed surprise at Mr Brown’s refusal to answer his question directly.

“I don’t know why he is being so evasive about it,” Mr Shapps said.

However, Mike Hobday, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield, described the suggestion that his party was controlled by Unite as “absolute rubbish”.

Mr Hobday, himself a member of Unite, said: “If this was true then Gordon Brown would not have condemned the BA strike.”

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