Labour Party confirms 80 staff taking redundancy amid financial crisisSeptember 4, 2021
Labour confirms 80 staff are taking redundancy as party fights its financial crisis
- Labour has been hit hard by pay-outs in legal cases related to anti-semitism
- It has also lost three elections since 2015, causing a reduction in public funding
- Party source said Labour needs to ‘get a grip’ of its finances before next election
Around 80 Labour staff members are set to take voluntary redundancy as the party attempts to take control of its finances.
It comes amid reports of financial pressures facing Sir Keir Starmer’s party after it told employees earlier this week that it wanted to shed around 90 personnel.
Labour has been hit hard by pay-outs in legal cases related to anti-semitism and three failed general election bids since 2015.
The party agreed in the High Court last July to pay undisclosed six-figure settlements for making ‘false and defamatory’ comments about seven ex-employees who spoke out in the 2019 BBC Panorama documentary Is Labour Anti-Semitic?
Meanwhile the latest thrashing in 2019 saw Labour lose 59 seats, meaning it has been receiving less public funding in ‘short money’, which is handed out to opposition parties depending on how many seats they have.
Unions this week threatened to strike if people were forced out of their jobs.
But GMB Union said Friday it had ‘received assurances that compulsory redundancies will now not need to be considered’.
Labour employed around 421 staff, according to the latest figures from December 2019, with 367 of those being full time.
The party has been hit hard by pay-outs in legal cases related to anti-semitism and three failed general election bids since 2015.
Party sources said Labour needs to ‘get a grip’ on its finances and rearrange the party’s structure before the arrival of the next general election, reported the BBC.
Unions had a meeting with party officials on Friday after the deadline for voluntary redundancies passed on Tuesday.
Unite and GMB both threatened to strike in the case of compulsory redundacies.
The timing would have been less than ideal with the party’s annual conference in Brighton just weeks away.
But in a statement released on Friday, GMB said it had been told by Labour HQ that compulsory redundancies would not be required.
It said: ‘Whilst the unions are disappointed approximately 80 of their members will be leaving the Labour Party during the next month, they are pleased that the members strength of feeling demonstrated through the indicative [strike] ballots has resulted in the assurance that compulsory redundancies will not be considered.
‘The unions’ focus can now shift to supporting the remaining staff through the re-organisation as it moves forward.’
The GMB’s regional organiser, Vaughan West, said it ‘remains disappointing that hard-working Labour Party staff members were placed in this situation’.
He added that the union was ‘relieved’ by the assurances.
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