Analysis comment News

Proof of MSM fake news as Labour membership figure published

Murdoch press and others had claimed a fall of 150,000 in party’s membership

The publication of Labour’s latest membership figure has nailed false claims of a collapse by the so-called ‘mainstream’ media. The Murdoch Times and other outlets had claimed huge falls in the number of Labour members in a supposed ‘Brexit backlash’:

The Times’ version of the false membership claim

Labour’s membership has dropped since the beginning of the year, but the latest tally of 485,000 ordinary members – not counting large numbers of union affiliate members – is fully 100,000 higher than the 385,000 claimed by the Establishment media.

Labour is still – by a huge margin – the biggest party in the UK and remains the largest in Europe.


Yet another Establishment attempt to undermine Labour’s status – no doubt fuelled by false briefing by Labour right-wingers – has been exposed.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. It would be interesting to know why they left.I believe some at least will have left because of the abandoning of good comrades and appeasing the Zionists and Blairites.

    1. Everybody will have their own reasons for leaving – change of financial or other personal circumstances are probably the main reasons but it is very disappointing when we lose members albeit not so many as the MSM gleefully allege.

      1. Its not “disappointing” Smartboy, its a bloody insult – I know of several persons in my own social media peer group, which is not large, who have had Gagging Orders sent to them from the Compliance Unit or actually been suspended, allegedly over AS, in one instance for RTing support for Christopher Williamson and TRing links to the documentary Witch Hunt. That all of these folks are women and all over 50, one of whom has stage four cancer, is totally disgusting, all to appease the old hag Dame Margaret Hodge and the other dickhead Tories in the PLP. Again, something needs to be done, and that means not supporting Lansman endorsed candidates for NEC elections – we need real leftwingers who believe in Party democracy and adhere to human rights for all, not a select few. And I, like another 12,000 expelled former members, would like an apology for the way McNicol ejected us from the Party, a Party I first joined when Michael Foot was its leader!

      2. I am well aware of all the other reasons people might leave,but the ones I mention do not get sufficient attention in my opinion.

      3. Christopher Rogers your comment @ 4.45pm is very depressing indeed. As for gagging orders… bloody hell.

      4. “Gagging Orders sent to them from the Compliance Unit or actually been suspended, allegedly over AS, in one instance for RTing support for Christopher Williamson and TRing links to the documentary Witch Hunt. ”

        If this is the case, such Stalinist behaviour is sufficient for any functionary involved to be suspended for ‘bringing the Party into disrepute’ by subverting it’s very basis.

        Who are the signatories on such instructions? They need to justify themselves in the public forum of the membership. Let’s have transparency.

      5. RH,

        Yes, the details outlined are facts and many of those being victimised were highly involved in the Corbyn Over 50’s Group – Di Coffey, who has stage four cancer, got her gagging order a few weeks ago, whilst Anya Darr, who actually founded the Corbyn Over 50’s Group, was Suspended from the Party at the same time. Anya has resigned her membership but is still forced to defend herself from fake AS charges – some crap happening down in Devon. At least they had me for a Green Party RT, but that this is all happening on Formby’s watch does not inspire.

      6. Jennie cannot control the generation of reported transgressions. Nor can she interfere in the quasi independant procedures. It’s very unfair to say so. I am also a founding member of the 50+ group, and very supportive of Anya and Di, and many others from that group who have been unfairly targetted. Jennie should be supported in her efforts, in a hostile organisation inherited from McNicol, and i think she has done a great job so far, we can’t expect her to single handed rebuild the organisation and it’s procedures overnight. Anya and others deserve our support and respect too. Anya also has severe health problems, like many of us in the older generation. It’s not uncommon for us to take the view that we have little time left so may as well speak truth to power, as the younger members and supporters have more to lose by risking censure and expulsion. The protection against bullying of people with disabilities is another rule that the RW feel.they can be flexible with, be it Jennie, Di or Anya. Let’s keep our criticism for those who are the originators of these vexatious accusations.

      7. Thanks for that further information, Christopher.

        There is a major problem that the NCC processes aren’t fit for purpose. But we knew that.

        The problem is making them fit. Perhaps members have to come together and, ignoring all the gagging threats that are imposed for sectional reasons, simply make public the substance of accusations and the evidence supporting them.

        I’m not saying it will be easy, but proper transparency is the only disinfectant for this cesspool. And there is no way that the current NEC/NCC structure can be trusted.

        Of course – one flaw is the way the source and evidence of accusation is protected – even before we get to a kangaroo court. But there has to be some calling to account of the entirely corrupt and illegitimate processes that are calling the shots and have damaged reputations.

      8. I was/am genuinely outraged about what happened to you and so many others under Iain McNichol and since.
        We now have a very different General Secretary and the disgusting purge of members that occurred prior to Jeremy Corbyn’s second landslide victory will never happen again. Hearing the appeals of those of the 120,000 affected who want to be reinstated will take time but it is essential we make the time to right what were clearly unjust and in some instances absolutely bizzare decisions.
        Regarding more recent cases I obviously don’t have all the facts but it does seem to me based on the information which is in the public domain that some of the decisions of the NCC to expel were deeply flawed and unjust, a view shared by many people in the party.
        It was clear therefore that the process was defective, had to be reviewed and a new process put in place which was fair and seen to be fair by all concerned and which gave the General Secretary an active role in the decision making.
        I think this is vital. First of all Jennie Formby is appointed not elected so doesn’t need anybody to vote for her now or in the future and therefore she can be completely independent. Secondly as a former senior Trade Unionist she will be familiar with all the equality legislation and will have extensive experience in the workings of disciplinary panels etc. She will also have the benefit of independent legal advice.
        Jennie has integrity and I have every confidence that she will be able to justify any decisions she makes -nobody will be able to railroad her into doing anything she doesn’t think is right.
        On your final point about an apology from Iain McNichol,I think there is no chance of this happening .Be consoled by the fact that he’s gone, yesterdays man, kicked upstairs to the House of Lords where he can avail of all its perks and privileges until it is abolished under a Corbyn government.

    2. And some quite possibly left because they believed all the anti-semitism B/S lies and falsehoods. And we have to remember that there were a whole bunch of party members who WEREN’T JC supporters, and I suspect that they were hanging on thinking that Jeremy would soon be history, and when he kept going and going they let their membership lapse, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that accounts for the vast majority who have left. I mean if a Blairite was to replace Jeremy, I certainly wouldn’t renew MY membership.

      1. PS When was the last time that membership figures were published, and how many was it then?

  2. Well, well, well, membership has fallen to below 500K, which in my humble opinion is a pretty poor indicator of the strength of the Party presently – had Corbyn from day one stood up to the RW bullies, supported Open Selection as strongly as Christopher Williamson and instructed the Antisemitism extremists and Israeli Apologists to bugger off I’m confident membership would be far higher. Indeed, me and another 12K former members have yet to receive any kind of apology for the unconstitutional manner Iain McNicol and his crooked cohorts kicked us out of the Party on flimsy charges, such as RTing a Green Party Tweet, instead, we have AS hysteria and many more being thrown under buses. So, since when do Tory-enabling bodies dictate who, and who not is a Socialist and who, and who should not be a member of a democratic socialist Party?

    In a nutshell, I suggest Formby et al get to grips with the Red Tories, ensure it is they who are expelled from the Party and start sticking up for Leftwingers, in which case membership may increase to its previous high of 550K. I also suggest they reduce membership fees, which to be honest are the highest of any UK Political Party. I mean, are we not supposed to be representing the poor & working classes, rather than metropolitian elites?

    1. Union and affiliated numbers are not included in the 485,000. So real numbers of membership will be over half million. Still the biggest party in Europe.
      AS claims are less than 0.1 %.
      Labour are doing all they can to minimise the impact of these distractions.
      MSM on the other hand are doing all they can to try and prevent the next Government being a Labour one.
      They will fail. There will be a GE this Autumn and Labour will win
      Keep the faith.

      1. Peter Sir,
        I’m aware Union affiliates and Group affiliates are not included as these are Full member figures – however, and the point I’ll make continually, is the fact many are being forced out of the Party having received Gagging letters from the Compliance Unit, this prior to Suspensions for trumped up charges, and this is happening under Jennie Formby – just think how much money the Party would gain if the 12K members ejected by McNicol in his Reign of Terror were allowed back into the Party with an apology – people are not leaving over AS, they are leaving because of the antics of the Rightwing scum on Labour’s Parliamentary benches, most of whom it appears could not manage a school tuck shop, never mind the duties of a Socialist Parliamentarian – and, this fact is actually their intent, they don’t want a mass membership, they want a complaint membership, one that does their Rightwing bidding.

      2. not 0.1%
        0.05 of 1% is 1/20th of 1%
        250 out of 500,000
        so its fair to say we do not have an anti Semitism problem, these figures are statistically insignificant
        time to call out vexatious claims against our party, members and supporters

    2. Chris you are rightfully.angry at the way mcnicol refused us membership.of the Labour party.My situation was never resolved money never returned to me.I was formerly known as a councillor and I was never given an explanation.The PARTY will not have the time or funding available to right a wrong perpetrated by a bunch of right wing degenerates who controlled the party and HQ.We HAVE to concentrate on winning the forthcoming election and the Legacy of Mcnicol will have to be looked at in the future.Clearly you were on a list as lwas because my official intransigence to enabling the Blair privatization project and to the numerous fall outs publicly with my group leader and leader of a lab\lib pact on my time in office.This again I opposed and I am sure that my name was dirt at HQ.We sometimes have to swallow are pride and get on with being a socialist in a country only just beginning to realise the vandalism of the elite.

      1. Joseph,

        Loads of people in our position, the fact is crooked McNicol and the likes of Johanna Baxter cannot take the socialism out of my veins. Indeed, if we have a GE this year, myself and many others will be out canvassing for Corbyn members or not – and quite a number are indeed victims of the McNicol Purge, so we’ll do most of South Wales.

    3. ” I suggest Formby et al get to grips with the Red Tories”

      I think that’s asking too much – apart from the psychological and physical strain that Jenny Formby is under, she is in an impssible postion. This is not impossible because the Party is “institutionally antisemitic”, but because the NEC and NCC are impossibly compromised.

      Any examination of the actuality cannot be left to those bodies. But how an honest alternative is found – the Labour Party’s ‘Truth and Justice Commission’ – I’m not sure.

    4. As for Jeremy standing up to the ‘right-wing’ bullies from day one Christopher, the right-wing plotters/smearers ALWAYS had the MSM on board from the outset AND Jeremy would have been ‘transformed’ into the bully, or did you think that the complicit and corrupt media would have given Jeremy a fair hearing. No way Jose.

      1. Allan,

        Indeed, its a classic case of the Abusers accusing the abused of being the abuser, which is absurd. Alas, we live in a nation that now has Boris Johnson as PM and our media continue to attack JC as if he’s the person in charge – fucking madness!

  3. Yes thanks Squawky our membership numbers are vital to survival,and returning a Labour government!.When we listen to the msm they litteraly spin the membership numbers to demoralizie the membership Numbers matter for the vital funding, campaigning and our activists are the most committed and successful in the history of the Labour party! With affiliate s we must be close to half a million educated committed and driven to achieve the first democratic socialist Labour government in the history of our movement.We are ready to repair the damage that the Tory party and their supporters have done to our beloved country by the few elites against the many!

  4. What have Murdoch and the Tory Terrorists got in common?
    Oh yes, they are all LIARS.
    Signed:- Res Burman, a Proud Card Carrying Labour Party Member!

  5. I’m surprised it hasnt dropped even lower given we have had a smear fest over the last 6 months which has seen the series in the Mail based on the utterly ludicrous claims of Dangerous Hero; prior to that we had the mon stop pressure to address labour AS by adopting the Ihrc. We have had the infamous defection of Chukka and his band of merry anti corbynites claiming to leave on grounds of institutional AS. We have had the Peterborough victory hailed as a fluke and drowned out by voters voting for LIBDEM in the EU elections followed by the furore around the expulsion of Ian Campbell which was compared arbitrarily to the perceived slow processes of dealing with AS cases.
    We are not forgetting Tom Watson, Blair and Hodge using every opportunity to leak information to their mates in order to criticise Corbyn. The dodgy EHRC has now decided to lodge a formal investigation with those investigating getting paid by the Tories; Then the libellous Propoganda film on BBC produced and presented by ex labour members who hate Corbyn talking to ex staffers who actively prevented AS cases coming to light and most of who featured in the Al Jazeera expose of Israel’s attempts to interfere with labour with the help of Joan Ryan.I must have missed out lots but it goes on and on and on …… I’m surprised Corbyn and the membership have managed to hold on for so long.

  6. A lot will have not renewed because of Brexit. People get right upset about Brexit, on both sides. I’d think that would affect members far more than the whole Amti Semitism story

    1. You are correct, I guess.

      To keep it in perspective, numbers would fall somewhat from a high point – it’s no big deal. It’s just the way of the world.

      It also needs to be said that true figures aren’t yet available – it will take time for non-renewal to work through.

      Sadly, I think you’re right about the salience of the AS issue. I honestly don’t think that a bulk of Labour members are much aware of the reality of the situation, even though knowledge is spreading. However, in terms of those who *are* aware that I know, it is working against the Party by generating a view that the official oppostion to the smears is pretty gutless. That is more of a factor than anyone being persuaded by the ‘institutional antisemitism’ trope.

      Opposition to Brexit is obviously a further key factor in producing scepticism about the Party being able to face up to the Tories.

      Like everyone here, that’s just an opportunity sample of contacts. But it fits into the general pattern.

      1. Agreed RH. It’s quite damning that many of the Hodge Savary Rose persuasion haven’t left the party, yet if it was as bad as they want to make out, surely they would just leave. The thought of more people leaving because they find the appeasement stance of Formby and Co gutless is, well, depressing

      2. Oh, I see you’re spinning the same old line again RH, EVERY opportunity you get. Repetition eh! The reality is of course that if you have a hostile media, they are hardly going to give you the opportunity to expose the lies and falsehoods that THEY are disseminating. But you’ll just keep plugging away, won’t you!

      3. RH said:

        it is working against the Party by generating a view that the official oppostion to the smears is pretty gutless.

        Well look what happened when the ‘official opposition’ WEREN’T ‘gutless,’ and fired back against the Panorama black propaganda op. All hell broke loose.

        But perhaps you – or anyone else for that matter – could explain just HOW Jeremy and Co would go about righting the wrongs – the lies and falsehoods – when the MSM is hostile to him/them AND more-than-happy to disseminate them and conspire in the Smear Campaign.

      4. The MSM KNEW, for example, that Jeremy was referring to a couple of trouble-makers who go around disrupting pro-Palestinian meetings, when he said what he said about not understanding English irony AND that he was being sarcastic, but the MSM ‘transformed’ it into Jeremy having said it about the whole of the English/British Jewish community, and THAT’s what we’re up against.

        And then there was Ken, of course, who was just alluding to an historical fact, in passing, in his interview with Vanessa Feltz. And what happened every time he tried to explain that it WAS just an historical fact, he just got vilified and condemned again for repeating his ‘abhorrent’ anti-semitic rubbish, or words to that effect, along with all the usual faux outrage:

      5. PS And DO watch the video/interview, and how whats-his-name – in particular – and whats-her-name, just kept talking over him and interupting him, and needless to say it was deliberate – ie a deliberate ploy.

        And THAT’s what we’re dealing with.

      6. And it wasn’t just the Express that spun it that way, of course, but the WHOLE of the MSM, as they did on another occasion when Ken tried to explain that he was talking about an historical fact. So here’s the headline in the Evening Standard:

        Labour anti-Semitism row: Ken Livingstone repeats claim Hitler supported Zionism in Commons grilling

        But here’s the bit I particularly wanted to draw to your attention:

        Labour committee member and MP Chuka Umunna told Mr Livingstone he was an “embarrassment” to the party and a “bigot”.

        Needless to say, Chuka is a fascist who has no problem whatsoever with falsely impugning and smearing a political opponent.

        And it was Chuka, of course, who said Labour is institutionally racist, and also told Jeremy to “call off the dogs”

        What a dispicable excuse for a human being!

  7. Diverse working people really create the wealth and make societies work and should join the party that fights for their intests – Labour, the clue is in the name.
    The Real Dependency Culture in the World is that of the rich and powerful in every country.
    They are TOTALLY DEPENDENT on us working people turning up for work tomorrow and on the rest of our working lives.
    So take the power diverse working people, join, support, or at least vote Labour!
    Together we can democratically transform the World!

    1. “Diverse working people really create the wealth and make societies work”

      Of course. From council manual workers to university lecturers that is the case.

      But it ducks the question of *how* working people can be dissuaded from lending support to the Tories in the face of a control of the media narrative.

  8. Is is it possible to ascertain how many members are suspended or been expelled.?Given some of the examples given above,which are scandalous,it sounds as if the party machine is still in the hands of the right.

    1. Indeed, Jim. But it’s not just the numbers : it’s the details of the why’s and wherefore’s that hide the sins.

      1. Agreed,and surely those details must be collated by somebody within the party and I cannot see why we can’t have access to that information.Are there still people excluded who were victims of the spurious reasons purge by McNicol?

      2. The answer is twofold :

        1. Revealing the accuser would expose them to cross-examination. Deadly to liars.

        2. Revealing the evidence would reveal any flimsiness. Deadly to with hunters.

    2. Jim,
      We used to have good intel from actual sitting members of the NEC, many of whom were aghast at a large amount of the attacks made against the Corbyn supporting Left, two of those individuals have been nobbled and both of these were about AS as per the course – the fact remains Compliance is still a joke and until those making false accusations are dealt with as the scum they are I see no end to the suspensions and expulsions, most of which are undertaken under false pretextes.

      1. cristopher rogers. My comment suggesting that there could be something much more seriously wrong with the Compliance Unit rather than it just being a joke, has been removed.

      2. Chris All evidence went into the shredder and Jenny must be aware of the cover u,p by Mcnicol,but she’s a canny and experienced operator…..We must have faith in Jenny!

  9. Brexit will cause job losses but nowhere near as many as AI/robotics.
    The Tories will be out of business long before the jobs are all gone.
    If there’d never been a Labour Party their days would still be numbered because at some point surly acceptance flips into violent insurrection.
    Cold comfort for the many but it’s kept me from utter despondency since I was a child.

    Daniel Kawczynski MP today put in his two groszy to the smears when he called Corbyn a “semi-Marxist” – Tories aren’t usually that selective.
    If they’re allowed to call us Marxists and Stalinists without challenge I reserve the absolute right to call Tories “Fascists” and “Hitlerites” – whatever their faith – any time and anywhere I choose.

    1. Where did he do that David? On the box? On social media? As for challenging such statements, I think the Panorama program summed it up perfectly, in effect – ie we are not given the chance to challenge in the first place, and then when we DO (after the program has aired), all hell breaks loose, and how could Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party ‘attack’ these ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ long-suffering former staff members, etc, etc, etc!

  10. Sorry Allan, it was on BBC News – today but I forget at what point during the procession of Tories exulting at how brilliant it all was and how it’s a turning point in their fortunes and how it doesn’t matter that BloJo’s shallow as fuck and how they’re really going to get that Corbyn this time.
    I might be paraphrasing slightly – i was only half-listening.

  11. So my understanding is that the party are in the grip of right wing fanatics who’s task is to destroy socialism whilst maintaining a massive membership to fund the destruction of socialism and Corbyn?That is the message from the posters on here..Are these fanatics really that good?The NEC seem to be the main problem,not HQ.We will talk ourselves into complete Stop if this gets legs…..I worry and am not going out of my way to criticize but look at the comments from the newcomers perceptive of our downbeat assessment!

    1. Joseph, the right wing fanatics are the status quo and have been for millennia – we’re the interlopers challenging the system.
      We’re the majority but they have the power for now.
      They don’t have to be “that good” when everything’s been set up over generations to make it easy for them. There are relatively few of us peering behind the curtain – the majority only see the curtain.
      Property is paramount in law because they own most of it.
      The MSM tells only their story because they own all of it.
      We’re the underdogs for now but, like history, that could change gradually or turn on a single apparently random event.

    2. It’s really quite simple Joseph; there is a black propaganda op being waged against JC and the left of the party – ie a Smear Campaign – and it’s been going on for nearly four years now, so I’m really not quite sure what you mean when you say that “we will talk ourselves into a complete Stop if this gets legs”. In the first place I don’t know what you’re referring to. If WHAT gets legs? And what is it that we would be stopping – ie what is it that would stop? And how does one talk oneslf into a complete stop?

      My apologies, but I don’t follow any of it, and would be grateful if you could elaborate. Thanks

  12. This is going on everywhere on social media including Facebook, it pays to be informed. Beware. This is how powerful interests try and swing public opinion by making our there’s a (fake) consensus of opinion. This article was 2011, and see how cleverly and undetectably astroturfing was done then, with one person managing 70 totally undetectable, totally believable, normal looking, fake profiles and now 8 years later it can only be even more sophisticated.. Always ALWAYS think for yourselves because astroturfing is paid for by powerful interests who want to persuade people to think in a way that is profitable to these powerful interests

  13. Allan I take your point and like any good socialist I have to be an optimist even when faced with the establishment within our own party.What worrys me is more the feeling that. many think that the media and the right have control of all avenues of propaganda and we have to aceppt the inevitable from the Media,HQ… NEC and and watch Labour party deteriorate.You may think no one on here is suggesting that,but I truly think that we can and will win the general election,with the power of the membership and the activists including those on here to push forward despite the many obstacles we face to actually win… But we must not appear to criticize the Labour party too much and I will be the first to admit I have been guilty of that,An election is soon and we need to demonstrate that we are all comrades and a united ! Front together..

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: