UK consumers
The government has apparently 'parked' its proposals to reform Sunday trading laws in England and Wales Reuters

The Scottish National Party (SNP) may have claimed the victory when the government reportedly "U-turned" over its plans to relax Sunday trading laws but a less well-known organisation also played an influential role in the alleged climbdown. The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) had been lobbying Conservative and Labour MPs over the issue since before the general election.

The Manchester headquartered body, as part of its "Keep Sunday Special" campaign, claimed changing the rules would have a detrimental effect on retail staff across England and Wales. The union, which has donated more than £550,000 ($833,863) to Labour since the general election, also described the Sunday Trading Act as a "great British compromise".

"Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family," said John Hannett, the union's general secretary.

The body found an unlikely ally in the shape of Conservative backbencher David Burrowes. The Enfield Southgate MP was instrumental in the government apparently putting the Sunday trading reforms "on hold" after he claimed up to 20 Tory MPs would vote against the government's plans.

The Department for Business still had not published its response to a consultation on the issue but the size of the Tory rebellion meant David Cameron's administration faced defeat in the House of Commons whenever the draft legislation was tabled.

With Labour already set to vote the plans down, the SNP's Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, dealt the final blow on the morning of 10 November when he announced the nationalists would make a rare move and oppose the plan because it would "safeguard" the pay of retail workers across the UK and Scotland.

Usdaw fact file

Members: 434,622

John Hannett's pay and perks: £139,714

Affiliate party: Labour

Donations to Labour since general election: £550,789

Labour leadership nomination: Andy Burnham (beaten by Jeremy Corbyn)

Labour deputy leadership nomination: Caroline Flint (beaten by Tom Watson)

Labour Mayoral candidate nomination: Tessa Jowell (beaten by Sadiq Khan)

Sources: Electoral Commission, Usdaw website and Trades Union certification officer