This battle is a long way from being over – but the result of the Lords vote is genuinely good news and another knockback for the plan to create a Tory dictatorship.
Cynical Tory plans to strip Labour of £6million-a-year of vital funds suffered a crushing defeat in the House of Lords tonight.
Peers voted by 327 votes to 234 to set up a special committee to reconsider the Tory attack on Labour’s funding contained in the controversial Trade Union Bill.
The proposed law would force members of Labour-affiliated trade unions to ‘opt in’ if they wish to pay a levy to the party, rather than having it automatically deducted.
The change would cost Labour an estimated £6 million a year.
Labour’s landslide victory in the Lords was secured with the backing of both Lib Dem and crossbench peers.
“The Lords have stopped the Government from getting away with this blatant manipulation of the rules in their favour,” said Lib Dem peer Lord Tyler.
Even some Conservatives voted against their Government’s cynical plan.
Tory peer Lord Forsyth, a former Cabinet Minister, said: “I do think we are provoking a confrontation here which will do none of us any good, and will certainly not do the political system any good.”
The select committee will spend the next six weeks considering the vexed issue of party funding before reporting back by February 29.
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