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Fears Of 'Two-Tier' Shadow Cabinet As Private Donors Bankroll Labour MPs

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Concerns have been raised that a “two-tier” shadow cabinet could emerge within Labour as prominent members side-step the party’s cost-cutting drive by raising their own private funds.

Parliament’s register of member’s financial interests shows a handful of high-profile members of the shadow cabinet have been amassing their own income through speaking engagements, book deals and donations over the past year.

While there is no imminent threat of a looming leadership challenge against Keir Starmer, there are suggestions that some could be funding their own separate offices for future leadership potential.

Those who have been active in generating their own income include shadow justice secretary David Lammy, whose speaking engagements earned him about £67,000 from August 2020 to July 2021, and Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow child poverty secretary, who received four private donations totalling £45,000 this year.

One Labour source told HuffPost UK concerns had been raised that some frontbenchers are looking to “staff up” to compensate for potential team losses in the party’s redundancy programme.

“What will potentially be happening is anybody who’s got the means to do that is going to staff up - it’s almost going to be hard for the party to manage it,” they said.

“The chatter is that people are stacking up their leadership or mayoral bids.

“There will almost be a two-tier shadow cabinet for people who have got those contacts and those who don’t. It’s not just that you’ve got people who are loyal to you and do your bidding, you’ve got people who can get you on telly.”

The Labour party is currently in the process of conducting its voluntary redundancy programme in a........

© HuffPost

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