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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Labour lose over 150,000 members over Brexit

The Sunday Times reports on the view of party insiders, that the Labour Party is haemorrhaging members amid a growing backlash over Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit.

They say that at the height of Corbyn’s popularity following the general election in 2017, Labour was considered the “largest party in western Europe” with more than 500,000 members. However, in recent months, sources have told the paper that Labour has lost up to 150,000 members. It is estimated that up to 100,000 are not up to date with their subs and enrolment has slumped to around 385,000.

One former Labour Welsh Assembly Member believes that the figure of lost members may well be as high as 180,000:

A Labour insider said the downswing had already cost around £6m. “The party is skint,” the source said. “There have already been some recriminations about the amount spent on last summer’s botched music festival Labour Live.

“Although there is always some drop-off in membership after big events like general elections, or a leadership contest, this is more than you would ordinarily expect and has led many of us to think it’s linked to Jeremy’s unpopular stance on Brexit.”

In a tweet last week, Labour MP Neil Coyle said Labour had lost 60,000 members in the past year, fuelling claims the party is alienating its support base. In response to an insulting tweet from a self-proclaimed Corbynista, he wrote: “Another brainiac who hasn’t worked out yet why 60,000 people left the Labour Party last year . . .”

Polls show that Labour members are significantly more opposed to Brexit than Corbyn, with 72% thinking their leader should support a second vote.

Corbyn's pro-Brexit stance, his refusal to consider supporting a people's vote, and his failure to effectively oppose the government on this issue, is costing the Labour Party dearly.
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