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Murphy: Labour leaders 'should not be picked by union boss'

Jim Murphy launched a broadside attack on Unite boss Len McCluskey as he announced he will resign as leader of the Scottish Labour party.

Mr Murphy said that while trade unionists were "a source of enormous strength and moral purpose" to Labour, the party should not be beholden "to one man."

One of the things about stepping down is that you can say things in public that so many people in the Labour party only say in private. So whether it's in Scotland and the contest to come across the UK. We cannot have our leaders selected - or de-selected - by the grudges and grievances of one prominent man.

The leader of the Scottish Labour party doesn't serve at the grace of Len McCluskey. And the next leader of the UK Labour party should not be picked by Len McCluskey.

– Jim Murphy

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Unite donate further £1m to Labour ahead of election

Trade union Unite has announced a further £1 million donation to Labour, bringing the total given to Ed Miliband's party to £3.5 million since December.

Unite has upped its donations to the Labour party. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The union's executive has previously expressed their concern the current Government could be re-elected on a "tide of big business cash" while Labour remained under-resourced.

Unite: Report paints 'very bleak' picture of NHS funding

The head of the Unite union, Rachael Maskell, has said that the plan published by the NHS today makes it clear that it will not avoid a funding black hole.

[NHS England head] Simon Stevens makes precious little mention of the plummeting morale of the 1.3 million workforce, which is becoming a worrying pattern for this Government with its continued failure to invest in skills, retention and development.

In the last four years, the NHS has been battered by the funding crisis, resulting in £20 billion being sucked out of the service during this parliament.

The picture remains very bleak and it is clear that the plan will not plug the predicted £30 billion financial black hole by 2020/21.

– Rachael Maskell, unite

Health workers vote to go on strike over pay

Health workers in Unite have voted to go on strike in a row with the Government over pay, the union announced today.

The GMB said its members in England and Northern Ireland had backed walkouts by 4-1, with 91% supporting other forms of industrial action.

The workers, who include ambulance drivers, paramedics and community nurses, will join NHS members from other unions in striking on October 13.

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Lloyds Banking Group confirm job losses

File photo dated 18/03/14 of a general view of a sign for Lloyds Bank Credit: PA Images

Lloyds confirmed the job losses, but said 65 new roles will be created across group operations and retail.

A statement said: "Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today.

Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort. In fact, since the strategic review in 2011 around only a third of role reductions have led to people leaving the group through redundancy."

Lloyds said that of 15,000 previously announced job losses, 13,055 will have gone after today's news.

Union urges no compulsory redundancies at Lloyds Bank

The Unite union has said it will press Lloyds Bank for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies as the banking group was revealed to be axing 645 jobs and closing a telephone banking centre in Warrington.

Over 2,400 jobs have gone at the taxpayer bailed out bank since the start of the year leading to "plummeting" staff morale, said Unite.

Half the job losses half will result from the Warrington site's closure by the end of 2014, in a move Unite branded as "unjustified" and a "bad deal" for customers. Most of the other cuts will be from the group's wealth business and HR function, said Unite.

More: Lloyds Bank to cut 645 jobs.

Unite union 'could cut funding from Labour'

The boss of Britain's biggest trade union has warned that it could switch its financial support from Labour to another party.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said defeat in 2015 could prompt the union to consider disaffiliating from Labour.

Len McCluskey said Unite could pull funding from Labour

The union has donated more than £11 million to Labour since Ed Miliband became leader. But Mr McCluskey said that he "fears for the future" of the Labour Party if it fails to regain power in next year's general election.

He said: "Can I ever envisage a rule conference voting to disaffiliate from Labour? I can do."

The union boss predicted Labour will lose the May 2015 poll if all it has to promise voters is a "pale shade of (the) austerity" on offer from Conservatives.

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