Government Taking Over Finances of Failing Labour-Led Liverpool City Council

Levelling Up Secretary Greg Clark has announced an effective takeover of all financial, governance and recruitment powers of the Labour-run Liverpool City Council, after a new report revealed yet more “serious shortcomings” in the council’s money management and leadership. The Council’s already been under special measures since March 2021, when Robert Jenrick appointed four commissioners to control regeneration, highways, and housing. The hope was they’d stick around for three years to rebuild the council after its “breakdown“. It turns out the situation is so bad they now need a fifth commissioner to handle finances…

Clark also revealed in a letter to local councillors that Steve Rotheram, Liverpool’s Metro Mayor, will chair an “advisory panel” to “plan for Liverpool’s revival“:

“I am determined to help do everything I can to help Liverpool come out of the current intervention stronger and able to achieve its ambitions. The commissioners’ report shows that there are still serious shortcomings that need to be sorted out, especially in financial management […] So following talks I had in person in Liverpool with Mayor Joanne Anderson and Mayor Steve Rotheram in recent weeks, I am appointing a new panel, chaired by that same Mayor Rotheram and supported by some of the wisest, and most experienced people in city leadership, to lead this transition from current interventions to a successful future.”

The biggest Whitehall takeover of local government in history… 

mdi-timer 19 August 2022 @ 15:00 19 Aug 2022 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour Membership Down 91,000, LibDems Down by 25,000

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.

mdi-timer 17 August 2022 @ 12:10 17 Aug 2022 @ 12:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tarry to Lead Union Rebellion on Labour’s Strike Policy at Party Conference

Former Shadow Transport Minister Sam Tarry is set to lead the union’s charge to force a vote on strikes and pay rises at Labour conference next month. According to the Guardian, the campaign – organised by Momentum, obviously – will officially launch on Thursday, with Tarry accompanied by an all-star lineup including Dawn Butler, Jon Trickett, and Unison union president Andrea Egan. Presumably Angie will stay at home…

The motion will reportedly demand Labour supports rail staff pay increases in line with inflation, as per the unions’ previous demands which Tarry dutifully supported – and which got him sacked for “making up policy on the hoof”, as it was put at the time.

Now Tarry’s exacting revenge by trying to ruin Starmer’s conference:

“Labour has a huge chance to show it’s on the side of working people. But by firing shadow ministers like myself for standing on picket lines, Keir Starmer is in danger of driving a wedge between Labour and the millions of working people desperate for real relief in this escalating cost of living crisis. I am proud of our party’s historic links to the trade unions – it’s time all of our party were.”

He’s not going down without a fight…

mdi-timer 16 August 2022 @ 16:41 16 Aug 2022 @ 16:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Gordon Brown Rebukes Holidaying Starmer

Guardian readers probably thought they’d woken up in 2008 this morning, with Gordon Brown splashing the front page with his big plan to save the world, this time from the energy crisis. No, Gordon hasn’t taken the reins again. Sir Keir is, in fact, still Labour leader… he’s just on holiday. 

While Starmer catches some rays, Brown is busy doing his job for him, proposing a suspension of the energy price cap before 26th August, an immediate emergency budget, the re-nationalisation of any energy firms that cannot lower bills, and a reprogramming of DWP computer systems to adjust benefits. He’s also proposing voluntary energy rationing now “when the weather’s good“. Presumably Sir Keir agrees, given he’s already taking advantage of the sunshine.

Still, those waiting to hear what the actual current Labour leader thinks will have to wait until next week, when he’ll return to London to outline his plans alongside Rachel Reeves. He might be in for a surprise if he turns to Gordon for inspiration, though. The first line of Brown’s article reads: “Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do crises. They don’t take holidays…”

mdi-timer 11 August 2022 @ 09:00 11 Aug 2022 @ 09:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rayner Backs Starmer Sacking her Boyfriend

Rayner’s decided to make her homelife rather awkward by wholeheartedly backing Sir Keir’s decision to sack boyfriend Sam Tarry from the frontbench over his decision to join the picket line. Speaking in Edinburgh, she’s told the press her boss was “completely within his rights” to choose his shadow team and she respects his decision in this case. That’s going to make for uncomfortable scenes at the dinner table tonight…

“Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour Party. It’s completely within his rights to choose his front bench and he has the right to do so. And that’s between him and his front bench.”

“It’s not unsual for the leader of the Labour Party to decide who his front bench is. That’s his decision and I respect that he has the right to make that decision.”

Still, at least her next meet-up with Tarry will be less frosty than her reception in Edinburgh. This same trip over the border saw climate protestors break into an Iain Dale Fringe interview with Angie and proceed to shout about Labour not backing a green new deal:

So far this week we’ve seen the climate nutters from ‘Green New Deal Rising’ making spectacles of themselves in Edinburgh and Eastbourne. Funnily enough, we’ve not seen them pop up anywhere outside of their lovely middle class homelands yet…

mdi-timer 10 August 2022 @ 13:31 10 Aug 2022 @ 13:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Independent MP Neil Coyle Still Campaigning for Labour

Despite his suspension in February over racism allegations – not to mention screaming like a banshee in Strangers’ – ex-Labour MP Neil Coyle is still waltzing around with Labour volunteers, campaigning under the party’s banners, and reportedly even texting members of his CLP to ask if they’ll back his re-selection. An interesting definition of ‘suspended’…

Coyle’s not exactly keeping any of this a secret. This photo, tweeted by Coyle himself on Thursday, clearly shows him out on the trail with Labour volunteers, all of whom are holding Labour-branded literature…

Coyle’s pinned tweet, still stuck at the top of his profile at the time of going to pixel, even shows him posing with “Vote Labour” signs outside his constituency office. It will have been six months exactly this Thursday since Coyle had the whip suspended – any update, Labour?

mdi-timer 9 August 2022 @ 11:35 9 Aug 2022 @ 11:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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