Sun’s false claim Ed M’s in the pocket of the unions

Ed Miliband's leadership campaign may not have the money that his older brother David's does, but he is sure that the support of 4,500 volunteers has made up for it. Figures released by the Electoral Commission today show that Ed's fundraising last month overtook David's by nearly £21,500.

Ed Miliband’s leadership campaign may not have the money that his older brother David’s does, but he is sure that the  support of 4,500 volunteers has made up for it. Figures released by the Electoral Commission today show that Ed’s fundraising last month overtook David’s by nearly £21,500.

Today’s ‘slur’ in the Sun, which describes various unions of trying to “buy” Miliband junior suggests that they are trying to pay for influence.

“Unite spent £200,000 on pro-Ed letters to 1.1million members. It also spent £20,000 on texts. Ed’s campaign got £28,000 from the GMB in July, and a £105,000 donation from Unite will be confirmed today.

“In return, they want Ed to boost their power if he ever gets to No10.”

In an email sent to members last night, Ed said:

“We still need your help in these final days if we are to make our strong campaign count, win this election and show that we can turn those values into action for the people we serve.”

So far, the campaign has raised a total of £328,000 with £133,000 donated by trade unions and £95,000 coming from small donations.

Other payments disclosed to the Electoral Commission show that David’s campaign, which is said to have raised over £450,000 since May, has taken a variety of donations, including from unions. Ed Balls has had £100,000 donated to him by author, Ken Follett, and an additional £23,000 from donors such as the Communication Workers Union. Andy Burnham has taken £37,4000 from businesses and individuals, including footballer Jamie Carragher.

Diane Abbott is yet to disclose any donations.

All information regarding disclosed donations to all five candidates is available from the Electoral Commission.

25 Responses to “Sun’s false claim Ed M’s in the pocket of the unions”

  1. Shamik Das

    Sun's false claim @Ed_Miliband's in the pocket of the unions: http://bit.ly/9O9I2z writes @clairee_french on @leftfootfwd

  2. GuyAitchison

    RT @leftfootfwd: Suns false claim @Ed_Miliband in pocket of unions http://bit.ly/9O9I2z > But union backing surely better than millionaires'

  3. Daniel Mayhew

    Ed is old labour and of course hill have backing from unions, there are paying for him for power sorry it true it’s the 70’s

  4. James Anthony

    “@leftfootfwd: Sun's false claim @Ed_Miliband's in the pocket of the unions: http://bit.ly/9O9I2z” and re pic's from the event at my branch

  5. Ell Aitch

    Ah the sun, what a load of tosh. RT @leftfootfwd: Sun's false claim @Ed_Miliband's in the pocket of the unions: http://bit.ly/9O9I2z

  6. Aidan Skinner

    planted stories about Tories fearing @DMiliband http://bit.ly/d700ng vs actually attacking @Ed_Miliband http://bit.ly/9BYU1W hrrm #justsayin

  7. Andy Sutherland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sun's false claim @Ed_Miliband's in the pocket of the unions: http://bit.ly/9O9I2z

  8. Michael Brannigan

    Daniel Mayhew: Give me the seventies any day. Low unemployment, higher standard of living, lower debt, (country and individual) A power system that charged fair prices for its energy, lower taxation levels, safer streets, less crime, less violent crime. Social cohesion. A few hundred thousand on disabilities, a more accountable political system. Safer working practices and the hope of a decent retirement age and income. Sadly Ed is no old labour man, nor is he a union man. He’s New Labour through and through and that means more of the same till we’re all skint and the rich have taken every penny out of the country. Let the rich rule and the poor starve: What a wonderful world!

  9. Jane Bolland

    Honestly what is wrong with the Trade Unions investing lump sums of money to ensure that the right candidate is elected leader of the Labour Party? The party which was born from the Trade Unions! The Unions have done the right thing in backing Ed Miliband as he’s the only one who really sees the need to move the party back to the grass roots, which was the beginning of the Unions aswell as the party!

  10. sunny hundal

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sun's false claim @Ed_Miliband's in the pocket of the unions: http://bit.ly/9O9I2z << wonder who briefed this one

  11. amol rajan

    RT @sunny_hundal: RT @leftfootfwd: Sun's false claim @Ed_Miliband's in the pocket of the unions: http://bit.ly/9O9I2z << wonder wh …

  12. Daniel Mayhew

    unemployment was high in the late 70’s the standard of living was over all lower, lower debt- wasn’t the country bankrupt in 1976 and had to take an emergency loan, I agree that the power system was better on price but very dirty, I have no clue on taxation levels tbh, safer streets I would there was a different kind of threat then now, crime is at levels know as the late 70’s.

    Total agree on you that in general the Social cohesion of comities was better then now but these day there seems to be less of generation gap between parents and there kids.

    The political system is the same as it was then bar the lord so can’t see why it is more accountable.
    Safer working practices total rubbish heath and safety is much better (partly thanks to unions of the 70’s) and agian i’ll disagree the retirement age was lower cos life’s were shorter and income (well that was done to the 80’s).
    Sorry OLD labour bankrupted the country.

  13. Ben Lyons

    The implication of the opening sentence is that Ed Miliband has had more volunteers than David. Actually, the Social Media Lead on David’s campaign tweeted today that 5,500 people have volunteered for David’s campaign.

    https://twitter.com/Jessica_Asato/status/24000876762

  14. Ben Lyons

    @leftfootfwd implies EM has had more volunteers than DM. But @DMiliband has had 5500 volunteers, 1000 more than Ed http://bit.ly/9O9I2z

  15. Wes Streeting

    RT @BenLyons1: @leftfootfwd implies EM has had more volunteers than DM. But @DMiliband has had 5500 volunteers, 1000 more than Ed http://bit.ly/9O9I2z

  16. Frank

    The Sun piece was certainly reductive and unedifying; the reason Unite has spent so much is that that is has a large membership, hence the high cost of calling, texting, and mailing – there’s nothing particularly sinister in that. That said, this piece doesn’t make an argument that Ed M won’t be strongly influenced by unions, which is the Sun’s (hysterically articulated) contention. Simply citing the article, describing it as a slur, and pointing out that unions have been the single largest source of Ed M’s donations does not refute the contention that unions will seek special access to Ed M should he become leader, as they certainly will; whether they’ll get it is a separate (and potentially very interesting) article.

  17. Simon

    What is the point of labour if it doesn’t in some way consider the opinion of trades union members? The whole notion that it’s something to criticise is idiotic.

  18. Michael Brannigan

    Daniel Mayhew http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/may/08/poverty-equality-britain-incomes-poor Unemployment in 1979 was 1.07 million and increased at a ridiculous rates after Thatcher was elected. There may be an argument that it’s difficult to compare apples and oranges, but one thing is for sure this 30 year experiment hasn’t worked. Unemployment counting those ‘economically inactive’ is nearer to 9 million now. Fatalities at work are lower as an amount now than in 70’s but not if one looks at the difference in working practices and environments. There is very little heavy industry and construction is less labour intensive yet we still have somewhere in the region of 1.3 people dying per day in the UK compared with 2 in the 1970’s. ( http://www.hse.gov.uk)As for less of a generation gap, this statement I don’t understand. In general parents are older than their parents were when they became so. There are teenage parents and although a larger percentage than in the Seventies, again this is apples and oranges. The population is higher now and many teenage pregnancies were not reported as they are now. What I do believe is: that in general society is less societal and more individualistic
    compounded with a greater degree of ‘me’ and not ‘we’ thinking. People, in general, feel they now have the right not to be offended, yet are more offensive in their ignorant consumption for the sake of self-satisfaction. As for needing Old Labour back, I feel what we actually need is a true Labour, a party that represents the majority. New labour was not that party and the Tories would never want to be. (They have rich friends to pander to) Ed is not the red under the bed. He’s more the blue from around the loo. As he stated himself on Channel 4 news, his second choice for Labour leader(the first being himself) was his brother David. Our David is as right as Tony Bliar and that’s just a little bit more right than Clegg and almost parallel with Cameron.

  19. Alex Ross

    I thought this article would refute the claim, rather than just say it’s a slur and leave it at that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s in the pocket of the union, but rather the article just seems to be trying to make out Ed has more volunteers and small donations than David, which isn’t what the headline is remotely about.

  20. Matthew Cain

    This post doesn’t appear to be an analysis or a rebuttal. If there’s clear evidence that the Sun is wrong, wouldn’t it be better to say so rather than just characterise it as a ‘slur’?

    Unfortunately for Ed, by having the support of unions which threaten to pull funding if he doesn’t win somewhat suggests that the Sun is more right than wrong. But I accept that’s not Ed’s fault.

  21. Joanne

    Hi Claire- excellent article.However- have just seen a blog on the Independent from JR which is disparaging about this piece.
    I can only assume it’s got something to do with criticizing the “media” persae.I feel disppointed by that reaction as rate the Indie very highly.
    I personally think you are spot on with this article, and LFF is a superb site.

  22. their_vodka

    Sun's false claim Ed M's in the pocket of the unions by @clairee_french http://bit.ly/bpDrer It's a bit rich considering who backs #condems!

  23. Alys

    Like many of the commenters here, I too don’t think Ed is in the pocket of the unions. But if you’re going to run a piece entitled ‘Sun’s *false* claim…” you surely have some duty to show that the claim in actually false, rather than going head first into an untreated mention of how many volunteers Ed Miliband has.

    While I’m commenting on this, can I add that I agree with Ben Lyons, you imply that Ed has more volunteers than David, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

  24. Liz McShane

    Aren’t DM’s volunteers paid whereas Ed’s are ‘real’ volunteers…?

  25. Tim H

    “Other payments disclosed to the Electoral Commission show that David’s campaign, which is said to have raised over £450,000 since May, has taken a variety of donations, including from unions.”

    A tad disingenuous as accounts go, this. An excellent bit of coverage in the Morning Star recently shed some light on who Miliband’s wealthy backers actually are – not a pretty picture:

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/94241

    and if his recent statements are anything to go by, he’s going to be welcoming them with open arms:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/13/labour-leadership-donations-miliband-burnham-balls

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