Unite the Union, Labour’s biggest financial donor, is reducing affiliation with the party by about 10% after a vote of its executive.
The union’s boss Len McCluskey, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has warned Sir Keir Starmer not to move Labour too far from the left, warning of further cuts to the multi-million pound funding if there is a drastic change of course.
Ahead of the vote, McCluskey told BBC Newsnight: “I have no doubt if things start to move in different directions and ordinary working people start saying, well, I’m not sure what Labour stand for.
“Then my activists will ask me, why are we giving so much money?”
But he added: “I don’t see at the moment any dramatic move to disaffiliate from the Labour Party. The Labour Party is our party.”
However, he was particularly critical of Labour’s payout to whistleblowers over the party’s handling of anti-Semitism under Corbyn.
“I think funding arrangements is undoubtedly an issue that may come up”.
He said there was “a lot of anger over that” and “we shouldn’t have paid them anything”.