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The Skwawkbox has supposedly received information suggesting that Labour Headquarters are deliberately under-funding Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Allegedly, he is receiving half the funds Ed Miliband received during his period as Labour Leader.
The claim originates in the Huffington Post. Executive Editor Paul Waugh pointed out that the leader’s tax returns, despite being legitimate, did raise an interesting question. Why did Jeremy Corbyn declare his income from being leader of the opposition as a benefit and not a salary?
This question does have merit. Why is Corbyn claiming the income as a benefit and not as part of his total income? Waugh speculates this may be because Corbyn is spending it on his office and not himself.
The Skwawkbox appears to have confirmed this to be the case. Having spoken to a “senior Labour source” who has admitted that Corbyn is running the leadership office with a team half the size of Ed Miliband’s.
Whilst no source is available to corroborate the Skwawkbox’s exclusive there are currently posts within the Leader’s office being advertised on the Labour website.
Under short money rules Jeremy Corbyn has been allocated £789,000 to fund the office of Leader of the Opposition. This is usually coupled with a share of the £5.5million Labour receive in short money in total and the £50million in donations and membership fees that the party receives.
The Skwawkbox’s source goes further, accusing Labour’s General Secretary, Iain McNicol of engineering the shortfall to damage the Labour leader. McNicol has long been seen as critical of the Labour leadership and is a rallying point for Pro-Corbyn campaigners. Regardless of the truth in the story it’s unlikely the suspicion around McNicol will go away.
Whilst it is hard to confirm these allegations they would explain the seeming inability of the Leader’s office to respond to the daily attacks. The overwhelmingly negative press coverage would require a dedicated team of competent staffers, a team Corbyn does not appear to have.