Labour General Secretary apologises over call for ‘all’ members to be in a union

Disabled and unemployed members had voiced concerns over the 'I Heart Unions Week' tweet.

The Labour Party’s General Secretary Jennie Formby has apologised after accidentally implying that unwaged and long-term sick members of Labour must be in a trade union.

In a tweet celebrating ‘I Heart Unions’ week – which the Labour Party officially endorses – Formby said on Thursday: “Reminder that our rule book says all Labour Party members should be in a union.”

The Labour rulebook states:

“To be and remain eligible for membership, each individual member must…if applicable, be a member of a trade union affiliated to the Trade Union Congress or considered by the NEC as a bona fide trade union and contribute to the political fund of that union (a person who does not contribute to the political fund of her/his trade union may not be an individual member of the Party).”

The ‘if applicable’ leaves a lot of wriggle room, but several disabled and unemployed Labour party members replied with anger to Formby’s tweet, over the implication that they must join a union or face being kicked out:

Formby then issued a clarification on Friday:

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.