Analysis Exclusive

Starmer’s conference draws a quarter of Corbyn-era attendance

Party uses Tory trick and shuts down space to try to hide collapse of attendance – but delegates unable to sit because of spaces given to businesses

Numbers attending the Labour party’s annual conference have fallen dramatically, according to party insiders – by as much as three quarters.

Attendees at this year’s event in Liverpool say that the total number of people is around two thousand at best and that the party has curtained off areas of the hall and surrounds to hide empty areas and create an illusion of better attendance. By contrast, attendances during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership reached around 8,000.

Yet despite the low numbers, attendees told Skwawkbox that delegates and visitors – including the walking disabled – are struggling to find places to sit when the conference sessions break up because Starmer’s party has allocated so much space for businesses to hold meetings.

The party’s attempts to disguise real attendances are reminiscent of David Cameron’s notoriously poorly-attended campaign events, where camera angles were used to make empty hangars look like a half-decent gathering:

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