Taxpayer’s union expenses rile Tory MP

By Alex Stevenson

Trade union officials are under fire from a Conservative MP who has unveiled nearly £40,000 of expenses, paid by the taxpayer, spent on senior ‘union barons’.

Figures obtained by Priti Patel showed the chair of the union modernisation fund supervisory board, former Usdaw union general secretary Sir Bill Connor, had received over £1,000 in ‘subsistence’ and £6,500 spent on ‘daily fees’ over the last five years.

Over £12,500 was spent on three meetings held in expensive London hotels where no minutes were kept to handover millions of pounds to unions through the fund.

“People struggling to get to work yesterday morning will be appalled to see that under Labour union barons were being given thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in expenses while spending millions more in secret,” Ms Patel said.

“This further exposes the shameful way Labour and trade unions, who now complain about public sector cuts, blew taxpayers’ money feathering their own nests.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has funded numerous projects for unions through the fund. Completed projects include the Transport and General Workers’ Union’s migrant supporters work unit, the TSSA union’s ‘turning members into representatives ‘project and an ‘improving communications’ project for the Royal College of Midwives.