BA militants and a plot to control Labour: Damning emails from strike union chief reveal secret agenda

Militants behind the British Airways strike have a secret agenda to take control of the Labour Party, the Daily Mail can reveal.

The hard-Left clique which runs the giant Unite union plans to 'reclaim or refound' Labour, dumping Blairite policies in favour of old-style socialism.

They believe that, because Labour needs union cash to stay afloat, Unite can control its political direction.

The plot is revealed in a series of astonishing emails from Graham Stevenson, a senior Unite official who is also on the executive of the British Communist Party.

Crucially, they show Unite is taking 'strategic' direction from the communists on both the BA strike and the overthrow of New Labour.

One email proclaims: 'The Labour Party is simply broke. As millionaires desert, it has been forced to go back to the unions for funding. We will have a huge number of MPs who are members [of Unite].

'In the past unions had large parliamentary groups but few MPs actually bothered to take account of our policies. This will change!'

Since Gordon Brown became leader, Unite has given Labour £11million - 25 per cent of its income - and saved it from bankruptcy. Unite is funding 148 Labour seats at the General election at a cost of £460,000.

Thirteen members of the Cabinet - half of the total and including Mr Brown - have received a total of £33,000 from the union. Some 167 Labour MPs and candidates are members of Unite, prompting accusations from the Tories that Mr Brown is in danger of relinquishing power to a 'militant tendency'.

As national organiser of the transport section of Unite, Mr Stevenson is a central figure in the union, alongside the equally Left-wing assistant general secretary Len McCluskey who is personally co-ordinating the BA strikes.

The Stevenson emails, sent over the past 12 days to London-based political historian Pavel Stroilov who is writing a book about Labour's links with Communism, show that after the next election Unite plans to exert 'vigorous control' over its sponsored MPs.

Mr Stevenson says: 'Unions will have to make a judgment decision about Labour - whether to give up on the reclaiming approach or simply refound it.'

He makes clear his support for Mr McCluskey in the contest for the leadership of Unite - the most powerful post in British trade unionism - which will be held later this year.

Mr McCluskey, who is tipped to win, has promised: 'I will set out a clear strategy designed to reconstruct the Labour Party so that it speaks with our voice and is committed to our values.'

Unite's determination to achieve this is shown in the emails. One from the seasoned communist Mr Stevenson - noting that the Prime Minister stayed silent for three days in the run-up to the BA strike - says cheerfully:'

'Left-leaning union officials once thought that getting Gordon Brown's ear was useful. It's now going way beyond that - more akin to "do they have a chance of getting our ear?".'

The extraordinary correspondence began on March 12 with a routine question from Mr Stroilov to Mr Stevenson about his personal website, which gives a history of the Communist Party in this country.

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