Posted by: John Brace | 26th September 2019

EXCLUSIVE: What was in the email from the Labour Party in April 2019 that stated “We are determined to ensure that Labour retains control of the council, and looks to increase the number of Labour councillors in the local election”?

EXCLUSIVE: What was in the email from the Labour Party in April 2019 that stated “We are determined to ensure that Labour retains control of the council, and looks to increase the number of Labour councillors in the local election”?

                                  

Cllr Stuart Whittingham (left) who was the paid organiser referred to in the email

Cllr Stuart Whittingham (left) who was the paid organiser referred to in the email

The result of the elections of twenty-two councillors to Wirral Council in May 2019 were that Labour lost its overall majority and its number of seats dropped by two councillors.

Below is the text of an email sent from the then Deputy Regional Director Andy Smith for Labour North West to all Labour agents and candidates on the Wirral in the middle of April 2019.


From: Andy Smith <andy_smith@labour.org.uk>
Sent: 18 April 2019 13:53
Subject: Employment of an organiser across the Wirral – Urgent please read

To all Agents and Candidates Wirral

As you are aware the elections in Wirral are likely to be close. We are determined to ensure that Labour retains control of the Council, and looks to increase the number of Labour councillors in the local elections.

To maximise Labours chances in these local elections a local organiser, Stuart Whittingham has been employed to support the campaign.

Stuart will be working on the campaign to mobilise local members and increase the Labour Party activity across Wirral.

In addition, Stuart will also be working on making preparations for a possible General Election, which given the chaos the Tory Party are in, could happen within weeks.

There will be no actual cost incurred for the work Stuart will be carrying out for the Party, to either wards or constituencies. However there is a notional sum that needs to be declared on election expenses.

This notional sum will be £40 per ward. This would need to be added to your expenses.

All wards will be expected to contribute to the cost of the organiser by allowing this £40 to be included in your election expenses. We repeat that this will be a notional cost only and no ward or Constituency will be expected to find any of the monies required to pay for the organiser in regard to the local elections.

If you wish more information in regard to this request, please contact the Regional Office.

If your election expenses are near the limit or you wish to opt out please email Stuart Whittingham, his email is ******@stuwhitt.me.uk, no later than Wednesday 24th April.

It is important that we know if you wish to opt out so we can legally remain within, set spending limits.

The appointment of an organiser is to maximise Labours support across the Wirral. By supporting this appointment you are helping to ensure that Wirral remains a Labour Authority.

Best wishes

Andy Smith

Andy Smith
Deputy Regional Director North West
Labour North West
Suite 97
Spencer House
Dewhurst Road
Birchwood
WA3 7PG
07802 551640
(Labour Party logo)

Sent by email from the Labour Party, promoted by Jennie Formby, General Secretary, on behalf of the Labour Party, both at Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT.

Website: https://www.labour.org.uk/.

To join or renew call 0345 092 2299.


* After publication Cllr Stuart Whittingham asked for his email address to be redacted from this post.

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Responses

  1. So this £40 appears out of thin air?

    • Thanks for that comment.

      Well as this page shows (although from the wording on page the campaign in Seacombe classed it as a donation rather than notional expenditure in the email above) the source of the funds to pay the campaign organiser (which was split across the 22 wards in Wirral so the donation was £880 (£40 * 22 wards)) in total) was Unite the Union.

      It doesn’t matter however whether it’s classed as a donation or notional expenditure though as either count towards legal limits on campaign expenditure.

      I hope that clears it up, but if it doesn’t please leave another comment asking me to explain it clearer!


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