At least 90 jobs are at risk at Labour HQ as the party faces severe funding shortages. Labour’s general secretary told shocked colleagues this morning that remaining cash reserves are only enough to cover a month’s payroll.
Labour is going through yet another meltdown this week as the big guns on the National Executive Committee meet to vote on measures to get the party fighting fit – last night, YouGoV released a poll putting the Tories 13 points ahead on 44%, having increased their lead by a percentage point in the past few weeks.
Key motions raised at the NEC this week include the banning of four radical groups, a move that has angered the Corbynite old guard. Momentum, the hard-left organisation that remains a potent force is not being targeted though.
Of far greater significance are Labour’s parlous finances. “This is not an easy decision and we recognise it will be a very difficult time for staff,” an insider told Reuters of the oncoming cull.
The decision to let go of so many colleagues is predictably being framed as a restructuring exercise in advance of the next general election. The unions for one aren’t buying it.
“While working-class communities are continuing to bear the brunt of the sickness and employment worries made much worse by Conservative mishandling of the pandemic, Labour is abandoning the field of battle against this government to turn its fire on its members instead,” said all-powerful syndicate, Unite.
This morning, general secretary, David Evans told colleagues the haemorrhaging of members and the punishing cost of numerous anti-Semitism cases had drained party coffers.
A source told LabourList it was “all kicking off” in a staff WhatsApp group in the aftermath of the meeting. Colleagues were also enraged that there was “no mention of welfare” and “no Q&A”.
Evans is said to be furious the press caught wind of the redundancies earlier in the week, which may explain his lack of sympathy at the crunch meeting.
“I am angry that this has happened because of the impact it will have on party staff,” wrote Evans to colleagues in an email (see extract below). “Whoever has done this should be ashamed and they have let our party staff down.”
Momentum were quick to pounce on the unfolding crisis. “This will have terrible consequences for hardworking staff who will lose their jobs, and severely threatens our general election chances,” said co-chair, Andrew Scattergood.
“Starmer promised competence, electability and socialist policy – on each he is comprehensively failing. We need the support of a mass membership and engaged trade unions to stem this financial decline – and that means we need to be a party that fights for the interests of working people.”