By Kanishka Singh
– Britain’s opposition Labour Party is discussing cutting its staff in a bid to save costs, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
The party’s ruling national executive committee is to discuss plans for large-scale redundancies among staff, with at least 90 jobs at risk, The Guardian newspaper reported earlier.
“This is not an easy decision and we recognise it will be a very difficult time for staff,” the source, who was a party insider, told Reuters, asking not to be identified.
The source, who did not confirm the exact number of jobs being cut, also said the party will engage with the concerned staff and trade unions, adding that the step was taken with a view towards reshaping the party’s operations ahead of the next general election.
Labour’s most recent annual report showed the party employed 367 staff as at December 31 2019, just after that year’s general election, according to The Guardian.
The party’s big donor, the Unite trade union, attacked the plans on Monday.
“While working-class communities are continuing to bear the brunt of the sickness and employment worries made much worse by Conservative mishandling of the pandemic, Labour is abandoning the field of battle against this government to turn its fire on its members instead,” Unite said after the plans were first reported.
After a 13-year stint in office under former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Labour has lost four consecutive general elections since 2010.
British Labour leader Keir Starmer has often struggled to connect with voters since becoming leader last year, sometimes unable to challenge a government that won some support for a successful COVID-19 vaccination programme.