Lavery hits back over criticism of union payments

Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.

Wansbeck’s MP has ‘rejected completely’ claims he was in the wrong over payments made to him during and after his time with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Ian Lavery was Northumberland branch general secretary from 1996 and from 2002, he was national NUM president. He resigned to take up his seat in Parliament in 2010.

An article in the Sunday Times newspaper included criticism in relation to £1.6million of donations from miners who had been compensated for industrial injuries between 1996 and 2010.

According to the figures quoted, Mr Lavery received almost £750,000 in remuneration and expenses over the same time.

A separate report in the same newspaper the following week says he received £60,000 in redundancy pay from the NUM and it was paid over a three-year period.

A complaint has been lodged with Kathryn Hudson, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, that he did not declare this money in the House of Commons register of members’ interests.

In response to the claims, Mr Lavery said: “I was immensely proud to have spent almost 20 years as a full-time official of the NUM and incredibly proud to have worked on behalf of people in the industry and the communities in bringing in tens of millions of pounds of compensation for common law and industrial disease claims.

“All payments to me from the NUM were made according to the terms of my contract. Any suggestion of impropriety on my part is wholly inaccurate and I reject it completely.

“I followed Parliamentary rules at all times, but I will be meeting with the relevant authorities to clarify this matter.”