This weekend, Jeremy Corbyn was full of beans during an appearance on the Andrew Marr show. As well as frank comments on immigration and student debt, the Labour leader found time to turn his ire on the BBC over the gender pay gap.
Discussing the disclosure that two thirds of the corporation’s highest earners are men, Corbyn said the Beeb needs to ‘look very hard at itself’ – adding that a Labour government would insist on a pay audit of every organisation.
Strong words indeed. But is Corbyn just repeating empty platitudes? This time last year, Corbyn made a similar pledge. In the Labour leadership contest, he announced that if in power, companies with more than 21 staff would be forced to undertake pay audits as to identify any gender pay disparity. However, he stopped short of committing to the one audit he could actually authorise: an equal pay audit of his own office.
Although Corbyn’s top staff include the likes of Karie Murphy and Katy Clark, it is male-dominated. It’s thought that his Director of Communications’ Seumas Milne is the top earner. The team also includes Steve Howell as Milne’s deputy, James Schneider as Head of Strategic Communications, while Andrew Fisher is Corbyn’s policy advisor.
Last year, Mr S’s Labour mole warned that a gender audit report would show a ‘yawning chasm between men and women’. It follows that a pay audit of Corbyn’s own office, would offer the Labour leader the perfect opportunity to ‘look very hard’ at his party and tackle the problem head on.
So, will Corbyn lead by example? Mr S has contacted the Leader’s Office to ask.