Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has hit out at the “disturbing” donors of two groups set up to oust him from the Labour leadership.
The backlash came after the Electoral Commission published figures that showed Labour Tomorrow had received £335k in donations, and that it in turn has funded Saving Labour, another anti-Corbyn group.
As the leadership ballot closed at midday on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Jeremy for Labour campaign said the findings indicated a “lack of transparency”:
“These are quite disturbing revelations. The continued lack of transparency around Saving Labour can only be a cause for concern for Labour Party members”, they said.
“It is now receiving donations from an opaque organisation founded by the wife of a current Labour MP, which is funded by former Lib Dems and someone who runs Peter Mandelson’s consultancy firm, and is headed up by former Home Secretary David Blunkett”.
Labour Tomorrow was set up by Nicola Murphy, who is the wife of Labour MP Chris Leslie, along with Labour peer Baroness Dean, and is now headed up by David Blunkett.
It has raised £335,400 since July, with donations from Lord Oakeshott, a Lib Dem peer, as well as Ben Wegg-Prosser, who runs a company owned by Mandelson.
It has donated £114,460 to Saving Labour, which was set up by Reg Race, who in 1990 founded a socialist group with Mr Corbyn and Tony Benn.
Saving Labour, a shadowy organisation which has made efforts during the campaign to drum up support to oust Corbyn, claimed in August to have recruited 120,000 Smith voters, despite a new £25 fee imposed by the party’s national executive commitee.
According to its website, Labour Tomorrow “raises, coordinates and distributes funds for moderate centre-left organisations which are committed to rebuilding a consensus for a Labour government”.
Corbyn supporters have been scathing about pro-Smith groups within Labour. Yesterday Dennis Skinner called Progress, which supports Smith, a “party within a party”.
The latest Register of Interests shows that since July Corbyn has gained £190,000 worth of funding towards his campaign, mostly from grass-roots group Momentum and Len McCluskey’s Unite the union.