Ed Miliband is moving to chop out the cancer of influence exerted by the unions in Labour. Here in New Zealand we are watching the unions flex their muscle in Labour.
Ed Miliband will call for an to end the system of automatically signing up millions of trade union members to join the Labour party, under reforms that could take years to introduce.
Brilliant move, one which should be done here by banning affiliate memberships.
The Labour leader will also propose that American-style “primary” elections involving members of the public should be held to choose candidates for Parliament and the London Mayoralty in future.
However, party sources warned that the changes, intended to clean up the selection of candidates for Westminster, would hit Labour’s finances and face opposition from unions.
The reforms may take “years” to introduce and there is no guarantee that they will be in place in time for the next general election in 2015, senior figures believe.
Labour is also expected to decline an offer from Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to help write a new law to enforce the changes to Labour’s trade union links.
Mr Miliband’s plan is an attempt to regain the initiative after a week spent fighting allegations of malpractice by the party’s union funders in the selection of Labour candidates for Westminster.
Police are investigating claims that the biggest trade union, Unite, tried to pack the Falkirk Labour party with its members to ensure that its preferred candidate was chosen to fight the next election.