UK Politics

Shadow Equality Minister Kate Osamor unpaid intern 'mistake'

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Labour's shadow equality minister Kate Osamor has withdrawn an advert for an unpaid intern blaming a "misunderstanding" in her office.

The position, in her Edmonton constituency office, will now be re-advertised with a £9.40 an hour salary.

"Kate does not believe in paying anyone less than the London Living Wage," a spokeswoman said.

Ms Osamor, who was promoted to Labour's front bench in Jeremy Corbyn's reshuffle, campaigns against low pay.

The original advertisement, on the W4MP jobs board, for a constituency intern, listed responsibilities including " community-based projects relating to the constituency", gathering and evaluating data and "general administrative support".

It asked for degree-level qualifications, "enthusiasm" and "commitment to the full duration of the role". The salary was listed as "expenses" and it was described as a "voluntary role".

Image caption Kate Osamor speaking at an anti-austerity rally last year

The advert was withdrawn after Ms Osamor, who entered Parliament in May's general election, came under fire from campaigners in an International Business Times article. Tanya De Grunwald, a campaigner for fair internships and founder of careers website Graduate Fog it was "astonishing" that MPs were still failing to connect the dots between their political principles and their own hiring practices.

Ms De Grunwald said it was "great" that the ad had been taken down but she said it was "disappointing that mistakes like this are still happening when surely everyone is aware of how unfair unpaid internships are by now. When you post an ad for an unpaid role you should know in your gut that it's wrong."

She said MPs needed to "sort out proper processes for hiring these roles so errors and misunderstandings like this can't happen".

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