Police investigate Trade Union Modernisation Fund payouts


The Conservative Party has accused the government of “very direct sleaze” over the £10m Trade Union Modernisation Fund.

The Metropolitan Police force has confirmed that it will follow up allegations of the improper use of taxpayers’ money.

The union modernisation fund paid out £3m in grants last month to a variety of trade unions.

Conservative Party chairman Francis Maude said the unions were “buying influence”.

“Labour gets two thirds of its funding from trade unions. They are now giving some of that back to the trade unions from the taxpayer – the trade union modernisation fund.

“If you want sleaze – that is very, very direct sleaze. That is buying influence and buying taxpayers’ money.”

Labour dismissed the move as a “desperate smokescreen” designed to deflect attention from controversial aspects of the Tories’ own financing.

The modernisation fund is designed to support innovation and development in the trade unions – but is expressly forbidden from funding unions that want to carry out recruitment drives.

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