Exclusive: Badly Performing Labour Council Leaders Face The Axe Under Party Crackdown

Hit squads could be sent in turn around failing groups under reforms drawn up by Keir Starmer.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Under-performing leaders of Labour-run councils could be sacked under new party reforms, HuffPost UK has learned.

Party hit squads would be sent in to turn around failing Labour groups under the plans.

The party’s national executive committee has been asked to approve the shake-up amid concerns some local authorities are harming Labour’s general election hopes by letting down voters.

One party source said: “We aren’t a private members club any more - we are servants of the people.”

Under the changes being proposed by Keir Starmer, so-called “campaign improvement boards” will be sent in to local council Labour groups identified as under-performing.

The boards, which will be made up senior party figures with local government experience, will draw up recommendations for improving performance which the Labour groups will then have six months to implement.

If the Labour group leaders fail to hit the targets they have been set, party bosses could remove them from their posts.

A party source said: “All Labour council groups must be focused on delivering for voters in their communities, and demonstrating the benefit of Labour in power.

“With the next general election at most two years away, Keir and [Labour general secretary] David Evans are determined that high standards are met at every level of the party, in every region.

“Campaign improvement boards will draw upon the expertise of the best Labour campaigners and officials from across the country, and ensure those local groups that require support implement the changes that are needed to deliver for working people.”

It is understood that Croydon Borough Council is one of the local authority Labour groups which have been indentified as under-performing by party bosses.

The council effectively declared itself bankrupt in 2020 when it banned all new spending amid a cash crisis.

Labour lost control of the council at the local elections earlier this month.


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