GMB's bid to purge Progress from Labour

Written by Total Politics has a free weekly Friday email bulletin. Follow this link to register. on 11 June 2012 in Diary
The trade union is putting forward a resolution at Labour Party conference to 'outlaw' the New Labour think tank from the party. But is it any more than mud-slinging politics?

General secretary of the GMB Paul Kenny this morning announced that a resolution will be delivered to the Labour Party seeking to “outlaw Progress as part of the Labour Party".

LabourList's Mark Ferguson broke the news on Twitter.

To be clear: the trade union did not pass a motion to outlaw Progress, but it appears that a resolution at this summer’s party conference in Manchester will seek to do that.

Kenny stated: "It is a rule amendment which will go before this year’s conference for next year which, effectively, will outlaw Progress as part of the Labour Party, and long overdue it is.”

A GMB motion criticises Progress for "undermining" Labour candidates and attacks Ed Miliband for "caving" into pressure on cuts.

It states: "Prominent Progress members have briefed against Ed Miliband to the press, and it was Progress who argued that Labour’s frontbench needed to support cuts and wage restraint.

"Congress regrets that Ed Miliband caved into this pressure. Congress notes with concern the support by Ed Balls and Ed Miliband for public sector pay restraint, thus giving credibility to Tory arguments about the deficit."

The motion continues: "Congress believes that such factional campaigns to undermine Labour candidates..."

Interestingly, Ferguson noted that Ed Balls was "attacked in several speeches" just hours before he was due to speak to the trade union congress.

One Labour figure pointed out that the reception towards the shadow chancellor could be seen as "undermining" as well.

Another suggested the move was "not that significant" as Progress is not affiliated to the Labour Party (in the same way that the Co-op party is, for example).

Prominent Labour figures took to Twitter to respond.

Labour MP Jamie Reed tweeted: "Incidentally, very proud to be associated with Progress and the GMB."

And former home secretary Jacqui Smith noted: "And it's @Ed_Miliband and most of Shad Cab out of the Lab Pty too!"


Tags: GMB, Labour Party, Paul Kenny, Progress

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