Labour Party assures unions job cuts will not affect campaigning power

The Labour Party has moved to reassure unions that its ability to campaign will not be affected after leaked reports showed it will cut one in five jobs.

The party is trying to stave off a financial crisis as donations fall and it struggles to repay £22m in loans. In the last quarter, the Labour Party were given £3.4m according to the Electoral Commission, compared with £5.9m raised by the Conservatives.

About 50 of the 230 staff employed by the party at its headquarters in London and its northern office in Gosforth have volunteered to leave so far.

However, in a letter to the joint trade union committee meeting today, the party denied any speculation that either its Victoria Street headquarters in central London or its northern office will have to close.

In the letter from Chris Lennie, the deputy general secretary, leaked to the Guardian<I>, the party promised unions that “our priority will be to maintain our highly professional campaigning strength.

“To do so will require that we develop and maximise our fundraising capability to the post-Phillips circumstance [a reference to an ongoing funding review by Sir Hayden Phillips]; ensure that our HQ operation provides support to delivery of campaigning on the ground; and optimise our relationships with members, contractors, elected representatives, supporters and volunteers in every part of the country.”


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