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Reject Unite cash, PM urges Labour

David Cameron has declared that Labour should start "turning back" donations from the Unite union after its general secretary called for civil disobedience during the London Olympics.

Labour leader Ed Miliband described Len McCluskey's comments, also threatening strike action during the Games, as "totally unacceptable and wrong".

But the Prime Minister said Mr Miliband's intervention, in a message on Twitter, was not enough given Unite's financial support for the Labour Party.

"Unite is the single biggest donor to the party opposite, providing around a third of their money, and had more role than anybody else in putting the Right Honourable Gentleman (Mr Miliband) in his place," Mr Cameron said during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

"It's not good enough for them just to put out a Tweet, they need to condemn this utterly and start turning back the money."

He said Tory MP Richard Graham, who said Mr McCluskey's remarks would "damage the reputation" of the UK, represented the views of "the whole country". Downing Street earlier denounced the threat of strikes to disrupt the Olympics as "completely unacceptable and unpatriotic".

Mr Miliband said: "Any threat to the Olympics is totally unacceptable and wrong. This is a celebration for the whole country and must not be disrupted."

Mr McCluskey told The Guardian that unions could stage industrial action as part of their campaign against Government cuts and called for the public to engage in civil disobedience to defend public services. Mr McCluskey said no precise plans had been drawn up for action during the London Games, but added that they "absolutely" could include strikes.

"The attacks that are being launched on public sector workers at the moment are so deep and ideological that the idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable.

"Our very way of life is being attacked," he said. "I believe the unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting. If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that's exactly one that we should be looking at."


From Belfast Telegraph