Green party to unions: It’s time to support us now

By Ian Dunt

The trade unions should give up on their relationship with the Labour party and support the Greens, the party has said.

The call comes amid a blistering row between the leaders of Unite, the RMT and the GMB unions and Labour leader Ed Miliband, after he pledged not to reverse coalition spending cuts in office and maintain the current public sector pay squeeze.

"The Green party calls on trade unions to back the Green alternative that is now the only voice standing up against an economic system designed to place the tab for 2008 on the UK’s public services," a spokesperson said.

"All three main parties now seek to protect the vested interests of deregulated financial capitalism – and in doing so they endorse an economic model that squeezes the poorest in society to sustain their broken system."

The demand will be somewhat underwhelming to union leaders, given that the Green party has just one MP in the Commons – leader Caroline Lucas.

But the mere fact it was made reveals the extent of the damage the union-Labour relationship has taken today, after union leaders made vicious and emotive attacks on the Labour leadership.

The GMB threatened to cut its link with Labour altogether while Bob Crow said the price of the policy shift would be "political oblivion".