Party funding row dominates leaders' exchanges


David Cameron and Ed Miliband have clashed over party funding against the backdrop of an ongoing row over allegations that the Unite union tried to influence Labour candidate selection in Falkirk.

Mr Miliband accused the Conservatives of being owned by millionaires, telling the Commons the party had received £25m in donations from hedge funds.

The PM said all donations to his party are "fully set out and public". He claimed donations to Labour "buy" candidates in the House of Commons and places at Labour's conference.

The angry exchanges came during prime minister's questions on 10 July 2013.

Mr Cameron said Labour had received £8m from Unite, £4m from GMB and £4m from Unison, and claimed the party was owned "lock, stock and bloc vote".

Mr Miliband hit back that Labour received "6p a week" in affiliation fees from "ordinary people" compared with the Tories being funded by "a few millionaires at the top".

He accused the PM of "ducking funding reform" after Mr Cameron rejected his suggestion of a £5,000 cap on party donations.

Mr Cameron said he had long supported a cap but said a £5,000 limit would put unfair pressure on taxpayers to fund political parties.

"And frankly I don't see why the result of a trade union scandal should be every taxpayer in the country paying for Labour," he said.

The PM was later asked by Mr Miliband to support a limit on the amount MPs can earn from second jobs.

Mr Cameron came back with an offer of his own: to work with Ed Miliband on legislation to end the automatic "affiliation" fee paid by three million union members to the Labour Party, after Mr Miliband pledged to reform Labour's relationship with trade unions.

Mr Miliband did not answer the question, telling Mr Cameron he needed to respond to his own question on whether he would support a limit on second jobs

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