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GMB cut funding for Labour Party as Balls is heckled

By Harry Phibbs
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The GMB general secretary Paul Kenny has used the union's congress to attack the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls for being "misguided and wrong" to back curbs on public sector pay.

Kenny said:

"The failure to wholeheartedly support public sector workers taking their lawful rights to stop work to oppose a tax on their pensions... was misguided and wrong".

"And since that time, when the comments made by Ed Balls, the GMB have actually shut the money box, apart from our affiliation fees and funding for elections and fighting the Tories and the BNP at local level. And that money box is going to stay shut until we see major changes."

To say "apart from the affiliation fees" is rather misleading as that is the bulk of the funding. Over the past year £1.4 million in affiliation fees has been paid to the Party's coffers - but an extra £500,000 that was due to be paid was withheld.

Balls spoke at the conference and was heckled when he said the Labour Party needed to apologise. "Too right you do," was one response. But he stuck to his support for public sector pay curbs saying:

"There is no way that I, or you, want to argue that we should have more job cuts to pay for more pay for existing public sector workers."