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Aslef to vote on Labour disaffiliation

TRAIN drivers’ union Aslef could be about to disaffiliate from the Labour Party, with members set to vote on the potentially seismic move yesterday.

About 80 delegates gathered in Bournemouth for the opening day of the union’s annual conference will debate a motion on whether to sever Aslef’s ties with the party, which go back more than a century.

If backed by delegates, the proposition would see the union become the second in a year to ditch Labour after bakers’ union BFAWU voted to disaffiliate in September 2021, citing a “factional internal war” waged by party leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The motion is understood to unite leftwingers disillusioned with the party leadership, Scottish members keen to forge closer ties with the SNP and some on Aslef’s right who do not usually vote Labour.

The union’s executive council is expected to back disaffiliation, but general secretary Mick Whelan is expected to argue against it. 

He said: “This is a matter for our members, who will discuss, debate and decide the issue.”

Fire Brigades Union members rejected disaffiliation last week, but  condemned Sir Keir for orchestrating the “biggest witch-hunt against leftwingers in the party’s history.”

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