Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas defends union donations

MP Jon Cruddas has defended the �167,000 he has received from trade union figures, saying the cash was used to remove the BNP from Barking and Dagenham.

The Dagenham and Rainham MP received the money in union donations from 2001, according to Electoral Commission figures.

Mr Cruddas came second in a list of Labour politicians who have been given union cash, with party leader Ed Miliband coming top with �172,000.

Tory MP Priti Patel told a national newspaper: “This blows the lid on the union barons’ secret funding of Labour MPs.”

Mr Cruddas defended the donations and described himself as “a proud union man with a background in the movement”.

“The money that has been donated to me over an eleven year period has been used to ensure the BNP were removed from Barking and Dagenham.

“These donations come from an organisation with millions of working class members which makes me a lot prouder than if the money had come from one or two wealthy individuals looking to buy seats like the Conservative Party.”