Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the Trade Union Bill shows the Conservative party is trying to tighten their grip on power

James Nickerson
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The Trade Union Bill could drastically reduce Labour's annual income (Source: Getty)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has branded the government's Trade Union Bill as an attempt by the Conservative government to "tighten their grip on power".

Writing in the Mirror, Corbyn said that the bill will come before the House of Lords next week, most of whom see it as "a spiteful, needless act that will only undermine long-standing efforts by decent employers and trades unions to improve industrial relations".

"The bill has been ripped to shreds by everyone from the business paper, the Financial Times – which describes it as a backwards move – to the government’s own advisers who described it as “not fit for purpose"," he added.

Read more: Trade Union Bill passes third reading in the House of Commons

Answering his own question of why the government was pushing ahead with the bill despite opposition, Corbyn said that it was because the "party of privilege" is taking us back to the days when people were locked out of power, after having already skewed economic life in the favour of the "one per cent".

"Put together their attacks on unions with their rush to redraw parliamentary constituency boundaries so that the Tories have an easier path to stay in office in 2020," he said.

"Add in their moves to starve all opposition parties, not just Labour, of the few quid in state money that they rely on to function – while doing nothing to trouble the high-rolling donors who dance the night away at the Tories’ Black and White Ball."

Read more: The Trade Union Bill is welcome, but with a few changes it could be even better

Earlier this year leaked documents showed that the bill will result in legal changes to the way in which Labour is given money by unions, sparking fears in the Labour party that its annual income could drop by £6m.

The loss would be due to a fall in annual union affiliation fees and grants, and would add to the cuts to short money introduced by chancellor George Osborne back in November.

The Labour party has previously criticised the bill as unfair, but business secretary Sajid Javid has previously insisted the bill would help prevent "endless" threats of industrial action.

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