Len McCluskey's Unite rival says he wouldn't fund Momentum and hints at slashing money for Jeremy Corbyn

Gerard Coyne hinted at a lack of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn (Wikipedia)

Gerard Coyne hinted at a lack of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn (Wikipedia)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The man battling Len McCluskey for control of the Unite union has said he wouldn't put money into the Momentum campaign group - and hinted he would reduce funding to the Labour Party if Jeremy Corbyn continued to flounder as leader.

Gerard Coyne is battling to unseat McCluskey as Unite's general secretary, with the leadership election campaign in progress. 

The pair have been locked in a bitter war of words recently, with Coyne accusing McCluskey of wasting Unite money with his central London flat and McCluskey hitting back by accusing his rival of "peddling smears" - and of living in a £1 million mansion himself.

Speaking to Sam Delaney on talkRADIO, Coyne talked at length about his vision for the Unite leadership - and said that, unlike McCluskey, he wouldn't seek closer affiliation with the pro-Corbyn Momentum organisation.

Momentum leader Jon Lansman was recently heard telling fellow activists that, if McCluskey is reelected, he will seek to formally join forces with Unite. But Coyne told Sam that this idea would be anathema to him, and he wouldn't entertain the notion of providing money to the hard-left pressure group.

He added that Britain needs a Labour government and, if Mr Corbyn continues to struggle, he would be open to the idea of reducing Unite's funding to the Labour party as "there's no point throwing good money after bad."

Coyne also talked about changes he would push for as Unite leader, specifically a tax on robotic automation - as he fears many of his members could lose their jobs to robots. 

However, when Sam pressed him on the exact value of his "mansion", Coyne refused to be drawn.