The NUT conference passed a motion calling for a political fund. The idea of a political fund has caused arguments at previous conferences – but there was general agreement over the issue this year.
Betty Joseph spoke in favour of the motion, telling conference, “We are living in ever challenging times – can our local associations remain inactive?
“A political fund will mean that we can actively campaign against academies and against groups like the British National Party when they stand in elections.”
Some delegates were concerned that setting up a political fund would mean losing the union’s independence.
Jerry Glazier, speaking on behalf of the executive disagreed. He said, “Our union jealously guards our independence from any political party.
“But without a political fund we cannot, by law, say don’t vote for the BNP.”
The motion, which was overwhelmingly passed by delegates, states that the executive must ballot the membership over setting up a political fund by Easter 2008, and that material sent to members by the union should call for a yes vote.