Look what you miss if you let yourself get distracted:

The Conservatives’ anti-trade union plans suffered a setback last night as they suffered a “resounding defeat” in House of Lords votes.

Peers voted against aspects of the Trade Union Bill that would see Labour’s funding take a serious hit, as well as stalling proposals to implement 50 per cent threshold on strike ballots until an independent review has considered electronic balloting, which the Tories oppose.

This comes after a leaked Government letter revealed that senior ministers were prepared to climbdown on parts of the bill, such as electronic balloting.

During the Lords votes last night an amendment was passed, by 320 to 172 votes, to weaken the part of the legislation that would require all trade union members to actively ‘opt-in’ to paying into a political fund. This would severely hit the unions’ ability to fund Labour, with the party predicting it could lose around £8 million a year from the changes.

In January, Labour and Lib Dem members of the House of Lords agreed to work together to oppose these reforms, following a decades-long agreement that major changes to party funding must have cross-party support. Both parties voted for the amendment last night, as well as crossbench peers and two Tory rebels.

Labour’s leader in the Lords, Baroness Angela Smith, said that the latest defeat shows that the Tories had failed to make the case for the legislation, which will now go back to the House of Commons to be debated.

Source: Tories Defeated In Lords Over Key Plank Of Trade Union Bill | LabourList

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