Ben Elliot has stepped down as co-chairman of the Conservative Party. In a statement this afternoon, Elliot said:
“Serving as co-chairman of the Conservative Party has been a huge honour and privilege. I would like to thank my various co-chairmen, colleagues on the Party Board, the National Convention, the excellent senior staff at CCHQ and of course all our professional staff, members and volunteers across the country. I would like to thank Boris Johnson for appointing me, and wish Liz Truss every success in leading our great country, particularly given the challenges of the winter ahead.”
Guido hears this may not be the last resignation before Liz enters No.10 tomorrow…
Hat-tip: Glen Owen
Both Labour and LibDem membership numbers have taken a hammer blow, according to their accounts published today by the Electoral Commission. Labour is down by 91,000 members, from 523,332 in 2020 to 432,213 as of 31 December 2021. In August 2021, Labour’s membership had only fallen by 1.7%.
LibDem membership had already plummeted between 2020 and 2021. Last August, Guido calculated numbers had fallen by 22.5%, from 126,724 in 2019 to 98,247 in 2020. Today that number makes for even grimmer reading: down from 98,246 to 73,544. A 25% fall from last year, and down by 42% since Sir Ed took over.
The Labour Party’s accounts, partly thanks to declining membership, are also deeper into the red. The party made a £5 million loss last year, with the Treasurer describing 2021 as a “difficult and demanding year”. Sir Keir’s first year as leader in 2020 saw a party deficit of £1 million – already a massive fall from the surplus of £17,000 left by Jeremy Corbyn. It seems, for Starmer’s Labour, the cost of living crisis begins at home…
*The Tories do not publish membership figures in their accounts – spoilsports – however they did manage to scrape a £300,000 surplus in 2021.