Steep rise in Labour membership in Filton ahead of leadership poll

August 19 2016
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Labour membership in Filton has increased by more than 50 per cent, Filtonvoice can reveal.

 by Rebecca Day

Labour membership in Filton has increased by more than 50 per cent, Filtonvoice can reveal.

It has beeen confirmed by local branch secretary Roger Hutchinson that numbers have risen from 70 to 109.

One Labour member has said local meetings have been suspended.

The news has come in the wake of the Labour leadership contest between party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, and reflects the increase in party members across the country.

Darryl Collins, Labour Filton Town Council chairman, pictured, said: “The national press tell us our membership has rocketed, and if true then in my opinion it is without any shadow of doubt, a direct result of Jeremy Corbyn’s influence.

“Unfortunately all official Labour Party meetings have been suspended until after the leadership election so preventing us from being able to deliver an official local position. I think you might agree this perhaps speaks volumes.

“I am excited by the massive growth in national party membership and am pleased to have recently met a large number of really keen new members, young and old.

“There are those who tell me I am an idiot and that the centre ground is where we need to be but on a personal note I am uncomfortable with that.

“Being a lifelong trade unionist I have learned the only way we achieve progress is through struggle and not accepting the same old, same old.

“I very much look forward to Jeremy’s continued leadership and the opportunity for him to deliver on his new kind of politics.”

More than 100,000 people have joined the party nationally in recent weeks, with the majority claiming to be backing Corbyn.

There are now more than 500,000 members – the highest it has been in decades.

Mr Corbyn has come under increasing amounts of pressure since the UK voted to leave the EU, with 172 MPs backing a vote of no confidence in the leader.

Forty MPs have voted for him to remain.

The winner of Labour’s leadership contest will be announced on September 24 at the party’s conference.