Labour Future accused of imitating Labour in fundraiser email

Labour Future” (LF) is a limited company that was set up in late 2016 by multi-millionaire Labour donor John Mills together with Brendan Chilton – the same two individuals who collaborated in the pro-Brexit group Labour for Britain, whose links to the right-wing organisations Business for Britain and Taxpayers’ Alliance were put on record in 2015 by the Independent newspaper.

Mills stated made the group’s ‘centrist’ aims clear last year:

the leadership must appeal to centrist voters in England who have previously voted in a Labour government, but have since moved their votes to other parties

In spite of its name, the company has no standing in the the Labour Party, which told the SKWAWKBOX flatly:

Labour Future are not affiliated to the Labour Party.

However, readers have contacted the SKWAWKBOX to raise concerns about a fundraising email received from Labour Future that they say is phrased to seem like an official Labour communication and could easily be mistaken for one by the unwary:

lfut fund.png

The opening sentence compares itself directly with the Conservative Party, rather than with a Conservative-oriented campaigning group that would be an equivalent to Labour Future:

we’re being outraised and outspent by the Tories. The Tories raise their funds in a completely different manner to us… We MUST close the gap in the funding race with the Tories.

Given the word ‘Labour’ in the company name, the red logo and the wording of the email, it would be easy for recipients to think this is an official communication, when in fact it is from a company.

A company whose stated purpose as a campaigning organisation and its lack of official status with the Labour Party makes it far more equivalent to ‘Tory Momentum’ group ‘Activate‘ than to the Conservatives or another political party.

The SKWAWKBOX attempted to contact Labour Future for comment. The company does not publish a contact number or email address on its site and its director of digital’s Twitter account is protected.

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  1. Whoever is in charge of brand protection at Labour HQ had better pull their finger out and start doing their job.

    This is a clear breach of copyright.

    What exactly are they doing at Labour HQ under Iain McNicol’s management? They are clearly not doing their jobs as they are allowing this type of misrepresentation and reputational risk to the Labour Party to go completely unchallenged.

    1. What they’re doing is trawling through the social media accounts of party members – in probable contravention of DPA legislation – to flag Jeremy’s supporters so they can ‘mistakenly’ not be sent crucial ballots in time to vote and to log even the flimsiest of pretexts to bar them in advance of future critical votes with insufficient time to appeal.

      It’s a cost-saving measure, actually, because last time they had to get staff at the Newcastle admin centre to manually call up new members and sniff them out for ideological unsoundness, such as having voted Green in the past … switching from voting Green to joining Labour being a bad thing, obviously.

      Bravo, McNicol. Bravo.

      McNicol will only act on Labour Future’s intentionally deceptive branding (a common phone-scam tactic) if they are not to his idiological taste or if inaction could put his own meal-ticket in jeopardy.

  2. I intend to report this matter to The Electoral Commission. I hope others do likewise.

    1. I don’t think so – they’ve got their name in the logo, but I guess it depends on what obligation they’ve got to make clear that they’re not part of the party, rather than simply stating the name of their organisation

  3. I donate to the Official Labour Party but if I got this as an email without the prior knowledge you have now furnished me with I am sure I would have automatically donated . Its a scam nothing less. I watched a program on TV which showed a company scamming money from people only this time they had added the name of a famous Bank. Immediately on reading your warning I was reminded of the crooked way in which people with gad ideals seek to rob and steal from honest supporters !!!!

  4. Clearly if the money raise isn’t going direct to central office and if they don’t have legal reason to ask for money this is misrepresentation and fraud perhaps.

  5. I recieved this exact message in my emails today and thought it was from the Labour party.I didn’t donate but I’m sure that they have effectively scammed other people.This is blatant misrepresentation as it reads as if its an official party appeal.These people are disgusting and should be charged with fraud.

  6. Interesting that they claim in their Data Protection Act registration (number ZA265462) to be a “Charitable Trading Company”. Though a Charity Commission search of “LABOUR FUTURE” finds no charity link – as one would expect for a primarily political organisation.

    Excerpts ffrom the DPA reg are:

    “Nature of work – Charitable Trading Company

    … We process personal information to enable us to carry out trading on behalf of charity/charities and to generate income on their behalf”


    1. VERY interesting indeed…

      As well as them ‘processing personal information’…I sincerely hope that’s with the consent of the people who’s information they’re ‘processing’…

      1. They do seem to have also made a mistake in defining who they process personal information about. They fail to list random “contacts”, “prospects”, “potential donors” or similar. Probably part of mistakenly using the wrong template when registering. I doubt the ICO would see this as a serious infringement in itself, but worth mentioning to the ICO as part of any wider complaint. They claim to only:

        “We process personal information about:

        * customers and clients
        * members and supporters of the charities
        * suppliers
        * employees”

        They also claim they will not export data outside the European Economic Area, so it would be interesting to see if the emails originate from outside the EEA – eg a cheap/free US supplier.

      2. … just spotted another mistake in their registration, a biggie. They don’t list “political opinions” as a class of data they process. And of course they do – eg the General Election Survey mentioned in The Prole Star story.

        There are 8 classes of “sensitive personal data” defined in section 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998. The registration lists 6 classes of “sensitive personal data” that they may process (offences/alleged offences counts as 2), but they omit:

        (b) his political opinions;
        (f) his sexual life

        So if anyone makes an ICO complaint, be sure to make processing “political opinions” of data subjects outside their registration a part of it!

  7. Earlier this year, Weaver Vale CLP wrote to Iain McNicol asking for the status of groups working within the Labour party to be investigated. You may remember the series of letters published by this blog. As they are not affiliated to the party, they can and do operate with impunity. We pointed out that this was intolerable for many members and asked for this to be rectified.
    No acknowledgement of our concerns were taken on board and no action was taken. McNicol has to go.

  8. Re the misuse of the Labour Rose trademark, I hope the Labour solicitors send them an admonishment letter (or cease & desist). Back in the day when I had a little to do with trademarks the patent attorneys were dead keen on sending out regular admonishment letters to make the trademark defensible in court. Back then if you ended up in court you needed to show you had been actively defending the trademark, and having a pile of regular admonishment letters helped a lot. Probably similar today.

    I see the Labour Rose is trademark registered to Labour Party Nominees Limited as UK00002530965, and the rose with “Labour” alongside as UK00002530964. Lawyers, get onto it! NB FYI it is probably registered with Nominees because the party is a Unincorporated Association, which is problematic in property law.

  9. Yeah I got one. Couldn’t even email back to tell them where to shove it! Frauds!

  10. I received an email from Labour Future yesterday. have sent a complaint to the party as this is the second time in the past few months that my personal data has been passed on.

  11. I only half glanced and donated a fiver then deleted the email and then received a “thank you email”.

    Just read this and decided to reply to that email and guess what…you can’t…fair enough,I’ll go direct.

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