Labour bosses warn staff they face the sack following heavy election defeat

Posted On: 
14th December 2019

Labour party staff have been warned they face losing their jobs just days before Christmas following the party's heavy election defeat.

Labour general secretary Jennie Formby emailed party staff on Friday afternoon.
Credit: 
PA Images

Jennie Formby, the party's general secretary, sent an email to those employed on temporary contracts for the election, as well as advisers to Labour frontbenchers, telling them their positions were now under review.

However, it is understood that this will not apply to Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy, two of Jeremy Corbyn's closest advisers and key architects of Labour's election campaign, who were placed on permanent party contracts some time ago.

Len McCluskey blames Jeremy Corbyn's 'London' mindset and 'incontinent' policies for Labour defeat

Voters ditched Labour over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and not Brexit, says poll

ELECTION 2019: Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner lead Labour leadership race

In her email, Ms Formby thanked the staff for their "fantastic work over the last six weeks", but admitted that the party will not be able to afford to keep employing them in the New Year.

That is partly because the reduction in the number of Labour MPs means it will receive less "Short Money", the taxpayer funding given to opposition parties.

Ms Formby said: "I want to confirm that we won’t be making any decisions in relation to staffing until next week.

"This includes those staff on contracts linked to Jeremy as Leader of the Opposition or to specific politicians. I want each of you to be able to rest over the weekend after the huge effort everyone has put in.

"Once the dust has settled we will confirm what this means for you and offer the opportunity to talk to one of the team about it. However, it is very important to reassure you straight away that no one from the above groups of staff will leave before the end of the year.

"Importantly, we will arrange to meet early next week with the full time officers from each of the unions to discuss the impact of this result with a view to giving as much notice as possible to mitigate the impact of the reduction in short money.

"Thank you again for everything you have done over the last six weeks. I am hugely proud to lead such a talented and dedicated team."

One Labour insider told PoliticsHome: "Jennie's message is basically 'you're sacked, have a nice weekend'."

A party spokesperson said they did not comment on staffing matters.

Ms Formby's message was sent on Friday afternoon, just hours after it was confirmed that Labour had suffered its worst election performance in more than 80 years.

The party lost 60 seats to be left on just 202, while its share of the vote slumped to 32%.

Mr Corbyn has confirmed that he will stand down as party leader next year, triggering a frantic race to succeed him.