POWERFUL group ‘Labour Together’, whose directors include MPs Lisa Nandy, Jon Cruddas, and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Steve Reed MP, has been placed under investigation after breaking electoral laws.
Labour Together describes itself as “a network for activists from all traditions of the Labour movement to explore new ideas and thinking on the future of the left”. The group has become ingrained in Keir Starmer’s campaigning and ongoing running of the party.
A former managing director of Labour Together, Morgan McSweeney, is now Sir Keir’s chief of staff. McSweeney was secretary of Labour Together from 2017 to April 2020, the time when Starmer became leader of the Labour Party.
Figures published by the Electoral Commission shows only a small minority of donations received by Labour Together – £165,000 of the £970,492 donated – had been declared within the 30-day period.
The Electoral Commission is also investigating the potential failure to register a responsible person within 30 days of accepting a reportable donation. Both of these potential failures would be breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
As a result, Labour Together and its directors are being thoroughly investigated, with the group saying that they are ‘cooperating with the Electoral Commission to assist them in their inquiry”.
Labour Together’s most significant donor is Martin Taylor, a Mayfair hedge fund manager who previously gave £600,000 to the party under the leadership of Ed Miliband. Taylor has given the group over £700,000 to date, with £143,992 of his donations reported as being “non-cash”.
Another significant donor is the businessman Sir Trevor Chinn, who donated £50,000 to Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign in 2020.
Chinn currently serves as another director of Labour Together, and has given the group £225,500.
The revelation comes after Labour’s biggest backer, Unite the Union, was exposed as being directly implicated in an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud committed by suspended Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.