Labour leader Ed Miliband has held desperate talks with the general secretary of the GMB after the union decided to cut funds to the party.
Mr Miliband wants union members to opt in to joining Labour, rather than being automatically affiliated, a decision which could cost the party millions of pounds.
Unions opposed to the party’s planned funding reforms fear the changes will relegate them to “placard carriers and cheque writers” – and yesterday the GMB announced it would cut its affiliation funds from £1.2 million to £150,000.
Mr Miliband held one-to-one talks with GMB general secretary Paul Kenny yesterday, who said it was a “cordial” meeting.
He said: “Different points were exchanged and we have gone away to think about things.
“The scale of the issues on the table are probably only just beginning to be realised by all parties.”
A senior Labour source said the meeting was “constructive and businesslike”, adding: “Ed made clear he wants to press ahead with reforms.
“He is determined to create a modern, open and transparent relationship with affiliates.”
Mr Miliband will address the TUC in Bournemouth next week.