Unions 'on same side as Labour'

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman will tell union bosses at the TUC conference that they are "on the same side". She will urge them to back plans to reform unions' links with the party, saying the changes "strengthen and deepen" relations.

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Harman: Union and party relationship not working locally

Speaking ahead of her appearance at the TUC conference, Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said at a local level the relationship between the party and the trade unions is "in practice, not working at all".

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman. Credit: ITV News

She added there is not much connection between the party and members at this level and "that is what Ed Miliband wants to change".

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Umunna: We're going to take a hit over policy reform

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has rejected suggestions a cut in union funding would mean financial meltdown for Labour.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: "For us as parties, we've fundamentally got to change the way we operate if we are to make our parties relevant in the 21st century.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna. Credit: Press Association

"Part of that involves making sure we've got a better connection with our communities and our people. I think the trade union link gives us a huge head-start over other parties in that respect, because it gives us a direct link to three million working people.

"What we are seeking to do is to ensure that we've got a better link to individual members."

Mr Umunna added: "Undoubtedly, we are going to take a hit in terms of our finances, but that doesn't mean that it isn't the right thing to do."

Union funding battle 'could keep Tories in power'

A bitter battle over funding reforms could boost Conservative Party support and help keep David Cameron in Downing Street, Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman will warn trade union leaders.

Speaking tonight at TUC Congress in Bournemouth Ms Harman will say how "disappointed" she was by the GMB's decision to reduce Labour party funding by over £1 million.

We all need to think carefully about who gains from any falling out and any division.

And we need to remember that fundamentally we're fighting for the same things - that we are on the same side.

If we don't have unity, there are going to be winners and losers. The winners will be the Tories and the losers will be our constituents and your members. This is a dangerous moment.

The change that Ed is proposing is not to weaken the relationship between Labour and the trade unions - it is to make it a reality.

We must work together to shape and deliver that change.

Harriet Harman to urge union to get behind reforms

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman will issue a plea for unity to union leaders at the annual TUC gathering.

Ms Harman will urge TUC members to unite behind Ed Miliband's plans to reform their historic links with the party, or risk a Tory general election victory.

Deputy leader Harriet Harman will issue the plea for unity at a speech at the TUC today. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Her speech comes amid ongoing hostility surrounding the proposed changes, and the continued fallout from the Falkirk selection-rigging scandal.

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