Labour party chairman Ian Lavery is facing a backlash after slamming Tory treatment of miners

Labour party chairman Ian Lavery is facing a backlash after slamming Tory treatment of miners

  • Ian Lavery in Labour video accusing Tories of ‘stealing the miners’ pension fund’ 
  • But he faced questions about how he benefited at NUM branch before he was MP
  • 2017 report showed he was lent £72,500 by NUM benevolent fund to buy house
  • It added Mr Lavery and his wife kept £18,000 from an endowment policy on it

The chairman of the Labour Party risked accusations of hypocrisy last night as he attacked the Conservatives over their treatment of the miners.

Ian Lavery, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, featured in a campaign video by Labour that accused the Tories of ‘stealing the miners’ pension fund’.

The social media video criticised how, when the coal industry was privatised in 1994, it was agreed that if there was surplus in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme it would be shared between its members and the government.

Ian Lavery (centre), a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, featured in a campaign video by Labour that accused the Tories of ‘stealing the miners’ pension fund’

However, Mr Lavery has faced questions about how he benefited financially as general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers’ Northumberland branch before becoming MP for Wansbeck in 2010. 

A 2017 report from the Certification Office, which regulates unions, showed that he was lent £72,500 by the NUM benevolent fund to buy a property. It was written off in 2007.

It added that Mr Lavery and his wife kept £18,000 from an endowment policy on the property.

The report also showed that Mr Lavery received ‘termination payments’ from the union of £89,887 when he left to become an MP.

It said the union overpaid him £30,600 but, after a dispute, he volunteered to repay only £15,000.

However, Mr Lavery (left with candidate for Walsall North Gill Ogilvie, has faced questions about how he benefited financially as general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers' Northumberland branch before becoming MP for Wansbeck in 2010

However, Mr Lavery (left with candidate for Walsall North Gill Ogilvie, has faced questions about how he benefited financially as general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers’ Northumberland branch before becoming MP for Wansbeck in 2010

During his tenure, the branch was given hundred of thousands of pounds by miners who had been compensated for industrial injuries.

The report said the union had been unable to provide documents showing why Mr Lavery had received redundancy money when he quit the union role.

Labour said: ‘The Conservatives stole the miners’ pension fund. Labour will right this historic wrong.’

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