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The union’s general secretary, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, said: “I have no doubt if things start to move in different directions and ordinary working people start saying, ‘well, I’m not sure what Labour stand for’, then my activists will ask me, ‘why are we giving so much money’?”
Unite is Labour’s biggest financial donor and gives the party millions of pounds in funding.
Sources in the union claimed Sir Keir and his leadership team are “just not listening” and warned there is a “lot of anger” among members.
But Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, a former Cabinet minister, lashed out at Mr McCluskey for helping to steer Labour into a string of election defeats.
“Unite members and ordinary working people want a Labour government,” he said.
“Fewer people have done more to keep the Tories in power for the last ten years than Len McCluskey.
“I don’t think this will bother Keir Starmer one bit. In fact, I think he will welcome a bit of distance from the man who has done our movement so much damage.”
Mr Bradshaw said Sir Keir should try to secure a broader spread of funding instead of having an “unhealthy reliance on a single individual like Len McCluskey”.
Almost every major donation to Labour in the first three months after Sir Keir became leader came from trade unions.
Of the £1.3 million the party received, £54,000 was from a bequest. No businesses gave cash over the period, according to Electoral Commission figures.
Sir Keir’s spokesman said the whole Labour Party needs to take responsibility for losing four elections in a row.
He added: “Unite have taken their decision. We have seen Len’s remarks and we acknowledge that.
“But Labour will continue to take the decisions that are in the best interests of the country.
“Keir’s focus and the entire Labour movement’s focus is restoring trust in the Labour Party and winning in 2024.”
Asked if it could benefit Sir Keir to appear to have distance from Unite, his spokesman said: “Len has taken his decision, Unite has taken its decision; it is for others to speculate and analyse that decision.”
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