Labour MP grilled on ‘losing 100,000 members’
Sir Keir Starmer has overseen yet another major fall in Labour’s party membership figures, with the latest meeting of their National Executive Committee revealing the numbers have fallen by another 10,000 since May.
While Sir Keir’s Labour leadership is reaping large poll leads with the public, his stewardship of the party has led to a whopping 138,000 Labour members quitting since he took over in 2020.
According to the blog of NEC member Luke Akehurst, Labour’s membership now stands at 385,324 fully paid-up members.
This is down by 46,899 members since the last official stats published by the Electoral Commission in August 2022.
While the NEC minutes try putting a shine on the figures – pointing out that the number of members in arrears, 13,871, is “at a historic low” – they speak volumes about Sir Keir’s internal party management.
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In recent weeks members have reacted with fury over decisions taken by the Labour leadership, including blocking North of the Tyne Mayer, Jamie Driscoll, from standing again, as well as refusing the abolish the two-child limit on welfare payments.
Following the Labour leader’s blocking of Jamie Driscoll standing for mayor of the North East, five Labour councillors in the region quit the party to campaign for his campaign as an independent candidate.
The local paper also reported a “mass resignation” from the local constituency Labour Party, with a former member in Hexham branding the party’s selection process as “undemocratic”.
They said: “I cannot remain in a party which undemocratically selects its candidates and undemocratically deselects current elected office holders.”
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The number of Labour members is now well down from the peak under Jeremy Corbyn, who famously won power after an influx of new members paying just £3 to secure a vote in the 2015 leadership election.
Following the Uxbridge by-election, the constituency chairman also resigned with an attack on Sir Keir.
David Williams said politics “needs to have principles or we end up with people like Boris Johnson and Liz Truss running the country”.
While the loss of members will be a hit to Labour’s coffers, the party remains confident that business support means they are “more or less” matching donations to the Tories.
The NEC also reveals they have completed their application for a lottery licence, as a new means of raising cash from members.
The meeting also revealed more chaos for party staffers, who will be leaving the current Labour HQ in south London, which they only moved into in October 2022.
Staff will once again have to pack their bags and will be moving into their third HQ in a year, this time around the corner on Rushworth Street, which Labour promises is “cheaper, bigger and of higher quality and specification”.
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