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22 September 2016

Worried Labour party staff “demand places on the NEC“

Jeremy Corbyn has promised to "wipe the slate clean" after weeks of Labour infighting. 

By Julia Rampen

Labour staff fearing for their jobs have demanded their own place on the National Executive committee, the BBC has reported

Jeremy Corbyn, the expected winner of the leadership race, has pledged to rebuild consensus in the party and end personal attacks. 

But morale at the staff headquarters appears to be low. The BBC heard from sources inside the party who said there were still fears that employees would be “purged”. 

Staff are requesting two seats on the NEC for trade union members. A third position is already held by the party’s general secretary, currently Iain McNicol. The decision-making body has proved crucial in recent disputes over how a leadership election is run. 

In August, Labour staff signed an open letter objecting “in the strongst possible terms to the way in which current staff are being publicly attacked by some senior members and their supporters”. 

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Corbyn has written to union representatives making it clear he is not supportive of any compulsory redundancies, and that staff changes would only be made as part of a structured “change management programme” with unions on board.

After the polls closed on Wednesday, he said: “As far as I am concerned, the slate will be wiped clean this weekend. If I am re-elected leader, I will reach out to and work with all Labour MPs to form a broad and effective opposition to this divisive and floundering Tory government.
“I will build on the broad policy agreement that stretches across our party, based on a clear anti-austerity agenda. And I will work to create a strong leadership team for our party, inside and outside parliament, based on respect for each other and for all those who rely on Labour to defend their interests.
“In the next few days, I will be holding discussions with MPs and others about the best way to cement a new working relationship with the parliamentary Labour party, as we democratise our party and its structures.”

The Labour party has been contacted for comment.