EXCL Labour membership falls by more than 5,000 in just one week over Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit

Posted On: 
3rd March 2017

Labour lost more than 5,000 members in just one week last month amid concerns about Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and the party's approach to the Brexit process, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Thousands of members have quit the Labour party over its approach to Brexit.
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An internal party document seen by this website shows the dramatic drop took place from 13-19 February.

The total is made up of 4,651 who allowed their membership to lapse, 781 who resigned and 52 who died.

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According to the 'Membership Weekly KPI Report', the numbers who let their membership lapse was "a huge increase" on the week before.

It said around two-thirds of those had joined between June and August last year - in the run-up to the Labour leadership contest - and they "immediately cancelled their direct debits".

The document adds: "The other third is made up of people that joined just before the deadline in August 2015 in order to take part in the leadership election and did not renew their membership in August 2016."

Because of the way Labour records its figures, lapsed memberships are not officially recorded for six months.

The 781 resignations were "a decrease on last week’s figure", the report says.

It adds: "The main reason for resigning this week was: 'Not happy with the party’s approach to Brexit'."

A total of 433 people joined Labour over the same seven-day period and the party's total membership still stood at 528,720, meaning it is still the largest political organisation in western Europe.

But the report says: "So far in 2017 all nations and regions have seen a fall in membership."

According to a report in today's Times, Labour has lost nearly 26,000 members in total since last summer.

A Labour source said: "These are awful numbers, and this report will have come across Jeremy Corbyn's desk, so he will be fully aware of what's going on."

PoliticsHome reported a month ago how around 7,000 people had quit Labour in the wake of Mr Corbyn's decision to back the triggering of Article 50.

In a further blow, Labour last night lost a council seat in a traditional heartland to the Conservatives.

It follows last week's result in the Copeland by-election, which Labour lost for the first time in more than 80 years.