Labour leader Ed Miliband has been slammed by the biggest public sector union, Unison, over his about-turn on cuts by the coalition government.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis attacked Mr Miliband over his decision to support a new public sector pay cap and hinted that funding could be reduced or stopped without a policy reversal.
The union has donated £2 million to Labour since Mr Miliband became party leader. Now Mr Prentis has accused Mr Miliband of “breathtaking” naivety, adding that the Labour leader’s comments were badly thought through and would have unintended results.
But Mr Miliband said he would not change his policy in the face of threats, although top Labour figures are nervous about alienating the unions which fund the party.
The policy change, meant to start restoration of the party’s credibility on the economy, has made some Labour MPs uncomfortable.
Mr Prentis’s unusually hard comments accompanied a major union backlash over a softening of Labour opposition to Coalition deficit cut proposals by Mr Miliband and his shadow chancellor Ed Balls.