Labour's special conference has approved reforms to the party's structures, including its historic link with unions.
Labour are riding a populist wave with their vow to tax the wealthiest more. But as a long term strategy, it seems rather risky to me.
David Cameron poked fun at his diminishing locks during a speech at the annual Westminster Correspondents dinner.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has tweeted ahead of a conference which is set to approve reforms over the party's links to the unions.
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General secretary Len McCluskey has said he suspected only 10% of Unite's one million members affiliated to the Labour Party would opt to stay in if they were asked now, as the party is set to approve changes with its links to trade unions.
However, Mr McCluskey added that he welcomed any move for trade unionists to have a more direct affiliation with Labour, saying it was part of Unite's political strategy.
Mr McCluskey said:
We want to get more of our members engaged with Labour at grassroots level. We see this as an opportunity and a challenge to actively talk to our members and try to persuade them to give a commitment to Labour.
We have a million members who pay the levy. We will have to ask them whether they are prepared to tick a box to say whether they are happy for some of their money to be given in affiliation fees to Labour.
A special conference of unions, constituency MPs and other delegates is set to approve changes put forward by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has proposed to reform links between the party and trade unions.
Under the new proposals, the changes would consist of:
- Unite gives Labour around £3 million a year in affiliations and there has been speculation that this could be reduced by up to half.
- New members will be asked immediately if they want to affiliate, but there will be a five-year period for consultation with existing union members.
- The electoral college system for leadership elections - which gives a third of the votes each to the unions, party members, and MPs and MEPs - will be scrapped for a system of one member, one vote.
- MPs aspiring to lead the party will now require the support of 15% of their colleagues to get on to the ballot paper rather than the 20%.
- Contenders would need 39 nominations and as many as six candidates could go forward for a ballot of party members.
Reforming links between the Labour Party and trade unions are long overdue, former prime minister Tony Blair said, as Ed Miliband is set to approve changes with its party affiliations at a special conference today.
Mr Blair said:
Ed has shown real courage and leadership on this issue. It is a long overdue reform that as I said before, was something I should have done myself.
It puts individual people in touch with the party and is a great way of showing how Labour can reconnect with the people of Britain.
Reforms to the Labour Party will lead to the voices of working people being heard "louder than ever before", according to leader Ed Miliband.
A special conference of unions, constituency MPs and other delegates is set to approve changes, including the historic link between Labour and the unions.
Mr Miliband put forward proposals following controversy over Unite's involvement in the selection of a Labour candidate in Falkirk last year.
Most unions will support the reforms, but the changes will hit the number of union members affiliated to the party as well as funds.
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Ed Miliband should not be sucked into a pact with the Liberal Democrats and instead show the courage to rule on a minority government, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said.
"Labour, I hope, win the next election outright, but if they are the biggest party then my view is Ed should have the courage of his convictions and govern on a minority government," , Mr McCluskey said in an interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme.
"My view is that Ed shouldn't be sucked into a Lib/Lab pact he should have the courage of his convictions if we are the largest party, he should govern.
"And he should challenge those coalition parties to bring him down if necessary and go back to the people so that there's a stark alternative."
Ed Miliband should rule out a coalition with the Liberal Democrats even if Labour fail to secure a majority in next year's general election, one of the party's biggest backers has said.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey urged Mr Miliband to say he would govern alone even if the party falls short of a majority in next year's general election.
The comments come amid reports that David Cameron will make a commitment not to sign another deal in the event of a hung parliament.
Speculation that a potential alliance between Labour and the Lib Dems has increased in recent months, after Nick Clegg praised the way the opposition had "changed" under Mr Miliband's leadership.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said the NHS and councils should ensure that children can access counselling to help them cope with the pressures they face growing up.
"Children face new pressures growing up in Britain today, from internet bullying to other stresses and strains that they carry with them from the home," Mr Miliband said.
The Labour leader said three children in every classroom have a mental health problem, but schemes providing counselling and support had been downgraded.
Acknowledging that politicians had not taken mental health seriously enough in the past, he said a Labour government would give NHS patients the same rights to psychological talking therapies as they currently have for drugs and medical treatment.
Writing in the Sunday Express, he said mental health was a "crucial issue" for schools.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was not considering a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and was working for a majority government.
He told ITV's Daybreak: "I'm clear I'm working for a majority Labour government. I'm not interested in backroom deals. I'm interested in how do we work for a majority Labour government, how do we change this country, and that is where 100% of my focus and the focus of my party is."