UK Politics

Labour staff 'worried about losing jobs' demand place on party's ruling NEC

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Corbyn, who is engaged in his second party leadership race, leaves his home in Islington

Labour staff are so worried about being sacked they have demanded their own places on the party's ruling body, the National Executive Committee.

They say it would be hypocritical of the party to refuse them after it said employees should sit on company boards.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been asked for reassurances that a clear out of staff will not take place.

A staff member said: "We have years of experience and expertise and they belittle us at every opportunity."

Sources inside the party, and those close to workers there, have told BBC Radio 4's Today programme they are disgusted by reports they could be "purged" after the leadership election and are terrified about losing their jobs.


One even suggested there could be strike action, although none is currently planned.

A submission asking for places for staff on the committee, and seen by the BBC, said: "It is disappointing that while the Tory prime minister has promised worker representation on company boards that Labour Party workers are currently unrepresented on their own executive."

Refusing the places would be "deeply hypocritical", the submission said.

It demands two new seats on the NEC for Labour staff who are trade union members, in addition to the position already reserved for the party's general secretary.

Labour's staff are represented by the GMB and Unite unions.

In a letter to workers earlier this week Mr Corbyn said he did not support compulsory redundancies, and "at this stage" no staff changes had been proposed.

He urged them to ignore anonymous stories in the press, but he did not rule out redundancies in the future.

He wrote: "I can only reiterate the comments I had made previously in my communication to all Party staff that attacks on individuals in the media are not acceptable."

He was responding to an email from a union representative on Monday which said staff were "deeply disappointed" and demanded "a message of solidarity and support for unionised Labour Party workers in the face of any attempts to "purge" or "clear-out" hard-working staff".

Mr Corbyn is taking on rival Labour MP Owen Smith to be leader of the Labour Party, and voting closed on Wednesday.

The result will be announced in Liverpool on Saturday.

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