Today Jeremy Corbyn has launched his campaign ahead of the Labour leadership election. Corbyn, who is being challenged by Owen Smith, used the launch to announce that — under him — the next Labour government would introduce compulsory pay audits for companies with more than 21 staff — in order to show whether or not they are discriminating against female employees.
However when asked by Sky News if this meant he would publish an equal pay audit for his own office, Corbyn failed to commit. Perhaps that’s for the best given that any such report is unlikely to make inspiring reading.
Forget comparing the salary difference between women and men in the top jobs, when it comes to the Leader’s Office it’s men who tend to rule the roost. The two highest paid employees are both male, with Seumas Milne, director of communications and strategy, and Simon Fletcher, director of campaigns and planning, both thought to be on just under £100,000. Kevin Slocombe, head of the leader’s media, is understood to have been next in the pecking order. However he left the role over the weekend, with Matt Zarb-Cousin — leader’s office media spokesperson — currently providing cover.
It follows that his words today have ruffled a few feathers in the party. ‘It’s not surprising that Jeremy won’t publish a gender pay audit of his own office,’ Mr S’s Labour mole says. ‘It would show a yawning chasm between men and women. It is typical of him, promise one thing and do precisely the opposite.’
Still look on the bright side; it seems Jeremy’s women-only train carriage policy idea from the last leadership election has been ditched this time around.