§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received alleging threats by union officials against members in connection with their voting intentions in relation to the political levy; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
We have not received such representations. Under the Trade Union Act 1984, a trade union's political fund ballot rules must provide for every voter to be allowed to vote without interference from, or constraint imposed by, the union or any of its members, officials or employees. My advice to trade union members who experience any such interference or constraint would to raise this at a senior level within their union at the earliest opportunity. Any member in this position has a right of complaint to the courts. Should a court find that the ballot had not been taken in accordance with the rules, the union could be required to stop spending on electoral and party political matters.