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How Labour's referral fees from ambulance chasing lawyers were exposed

Yesterday the Daily Mail splashed on the huge conflict of interest the Labour Party has in demanding that referral fees from personal injury lawyers should continue to be legal. The Labour Party is paid £250 plus VAT for each referral it makes from supporters. The website offering this is still up.

The arrangement was spotted by a Conservative councillor in Bradford, Cllr John Robertshaw, who raised it at  council meetng last week.

The following motion was proposed:

To be moved by Councillor Shah
Seconded by Councillor Robertshaw
This council recognises the completely prohibitive scale of motor vehicle insurance quotes being offered to significant numbers of residents of the district. The council resolves to require officers to investigate the possibility of the council taking proactive action in order to assist drivers to secure affordable motor vehicle insurance via the formation of a co-operative underwriter or other appropriate means.

Councillor Glen Miller, Leader of the Conservative Group said,

"At last week’s council meeting we brought a motion regarding the costs of car insurance, as many local people are finding it impossible to afford to insure their vehicles. I am delighted that afterwards when we spoke to the Ministry of Justice it was recognised at a national level that it was simply wrong for Bradford Council to refuse to back our motion and instead praise the Labour Party for trying to stop referral payments, whilst failing to mention that they are quietly making a fortune from them. I was delighted to hear that the Justice Minister Jonathon Djanogly was prepared to personally take up the matter.

Councillor John Robertshaw who represents the Bowling and Barkerend Ward where many motorists have received quotes of tens of thousands of pounds for car cover said,

"We brought a motion to council criticising uninsured drivers and claims management companies in which we suggested the creation of a mutual car insurer, operating on a similar model to credit unions for the benefit of local people, but Labour Councillors refused to support it and instead put forward an amendment praising Jack Straw and the Labour Party for trying to ban the sale of driver’s details to claims management companies.

"We were staggered at the hypocrisy of this and the Labour Councillors were somewhat deflated when I produced a print off from the Labour Party website showing that the party gets £250 for every claim referred to a claims management company that they partner. I was delighted when the Minister of Justice agreed to pursue the matter and disappointed to hear that the Labour Party have probably made at least £500,000 from people’s car insurance premiums.

"It is clearly a case of do as we say, not as we do and I am calling on the Leader of the Council to seek assurance from his national party that they will no longer profit from car owners misery and genuinely support the government's actions to legislate against this practice".


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