Although Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team recently asked subscribers to donate £10 to help fund the management of ‘selfie queues’ at rallies, it seems the Labour leader isn’t struggling too much when it comes to finding the coffers to keep his leadership fight on the road.
The latest Register of Interests shows that since July Corbyn has raked in nearly £190,000 worth of funding towards his campaign. The hefty sum includes an ‘interest free, unsecured loan of £50,000’ from Momentum as well as two more ‘interest free, unsecured’ loans from Len McCluskey’s Unite the union, totalling £75,000. All three loans are ‘for an indefinite period’. Unite have also provided ‘serviced offices’ for Corbyn’s campaign, valued at £6,000.
In terms of donations, while the Fire Brigades Union has donated £15,000, its General Secretary Matthew Wrack has personally donated another £7,000. When Wrack — a former editor of the FBU’s Militant magazine Flame — tried to rejoin the Labour party to support Corbyn, his eligibility called into question by his local party. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers have also donated £25,000, with the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association also making contributions.
In comparison, Owen Smith has received no money from the unions. According to the latest register, his campaign funding totals £83,204. Of this, £67,550 has come from the Labour’s business tsar Anthony Watson — which covers the rental, phone and internet costs of Smith’s campaign office.
While it was well known that Corbyn had the backing of the trade unions that have put money behind him, it is a disappointing showing for Smith to not receive one union donation. Although Smith’s team have been keen to big up the support they have received from unions like GMB and USDAW, it seems they are yet to put their money where their mouth is.