Streatham Campaigns Ltd paying Umunna’s staff long after MP defected to TIG then LibDems – formal complaint made to Labour
An ally of ex-Labour MP Chuka Umunna has thanked the SKWAWKBOX for ‘reminding’ him of two company links to the now-LibDem.
Former Streatham CLP (constituency Labour Party) chair Nick Cattermole recently stood for election as Streatham South branch’s ‘social and fundraising officer’ – and was elected unopposed by a branch of Streatham CLP reportedly run by a self-described ‘centrist godmother’.
However, local members have objected that Mr Cattermole remains an officer of Streatham Campaigns Ltd (SCL) – a company of which Chuka Umunna is the only director.
When contacted for comment, Cattermole said that it was an oversight that he had not resigned – but not only from SCL, but also from a second company – and thanked the SKWAWKBOX for ‘reminding me that I need to do something about getting my name removed’:
I agreeed [sic] to act as company secretary of streatham campaigns ltd, and also of another company Chuka set up after the referendum, voteleavewatch Ltd. I agreed to do this on a voluntary basis as chuka was then a Labour MP and I am an accountant so know how to fill in Companies House returns.
My role as secretary was confined to filling in the annual companies house return and replying to occasional enquiries from HMRC. The person who controls both these companies is Chuka himself, as stated on the Companies House records. I have no involvement in the running of either company, I have had no contact with Chuka or his office since he left the Labour Party and I do not intend to have any in future. I am grateful to you for reminding me that I need to do something about getting my name removed from these companies and I will be taking action forthwith to do so.
The most recent parliamentary register of MPs’ staff – dated 26 July – confirms that two Umunna staff continue to be paid for by SCL:
Chuka Umunna quit the Labour Party in February, so for almost six months Mr Cattermole has been secretary of a company paying staff for a non-Labour MP – and for two months a LibDem who intends to stand against Labour in the next parliamentary election.
Local members have put in a formal complaint to the Labour Party, claiming that Cattermole has incurred expulsion under Labour’s rules against supporting another party:
An individual named Nicholas Cattermole has been attending recent meetings of Streatham Labour, standing for executive roles and peering over the shoulders of tellers counting votes.
However, we understand that he has automatically excluded himself under party rules by supporting an opposing parliamentary candidate, namely by running a company that pays staff to work in political roles for a Lib Dem MP.
We attach extracts from the Companies Register and the register of parliamentary staff
Please confirm whether you have notified him of his exclusion from membership.
A local member told the SKWAWKBOX:
The brass neck of continuing to serve an anti-Labour MP whilst grabbing a post at the Streatham South branch AGM has caused quite a stir here.
Not many of us will fancy sitting in meetings next to someone who is that close to a LibDem MP and even if he resigns from the company the party’s rules have been broken for six months and there’s only one sanction in the rules for that kind of breach, as Alastair Campbell found out recently: auto-exclusion.
‘Auto-exclusion’ in Labour’s rules essentially means that a member has excluded him- or herself from membership by support for a rival party.
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