UK Labour Party braces for overhaul

LONDON — Labour Party staff in the shadow cabinet team and in the main London and Newcastle offices have been advised to expect job losses as the U.K.’s main opposition party prepares to deliver details of a major restructuring. 

Labour’s finances have suffered after a series of expensive legal cases and a dip in membership, as well as the cost of fighting three general elections in the past six years.

Party leader Keir Starmer’s senior management team is seeking to make redundancies on a voluntary basis, aiming to remove 90 posts overall — around a quarter of the entire workforce.

Staff are expected to receive a presentation detailing a new operating model, known as Organise2Win, on Tuesday.

The plan was drawn up by Bob Kerslake, a former head of the civil service who was asked to review Labour’s structure last year, together with Simon Mills, the longstanding director of finance.

Political advisers to the shadow cabinet were told on Thursday to expect their numbers to be reduced by one third, or around 14 people, according to officials present. Employees in the facilities and print teams as well as those in membership services were also told that their offices would be targeted for cuts.

An email circulated to party directors this week promised that “core functions” would be retained.

Two party members with knowledge of the process claimed the reorganization was being conducted partly along ideological lines in order to edge out people who were hired under former leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

One union official said three figures on the left had been informed they were likely to lose their jobs, while another said: “This is about two things. They’ve run out of money and they need redundancies, but it’s also a chance to get rid of remaining left-wingers.”

At the same time, recruitment of new advisers for Anneliese Dodds, party chair, and Deborah Mattinson, recently appointed director of strategy, are due to go ahead as planned. 

The Labour Party was contacted for comment.

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