Angela Eagle calls on Tories to “come clean” over membership figures

August 23, 2014 10:09 am

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There have been reports in recent weeks that Tory Chairman Michael Green  Grant Shapps is set to announce new Tory membership figures at their conference. However, these “higher membership numbers” may not be as they seem, as over Cameron’s time as Tory leader 118,600 members have abandoned his party. With that in mind, Angela Eagle has written to Shapps urging him to come clean, rather than fudging the numbers. Here’s the letter:

Dear Grant,

I am writing to urge you to come clean over Conservative Party membership figures.

Recent media suggests the Conservatives plan to announce ‘membership’ figures at your forthcoming annual conference. This will reportedly not be a total figure of full constituency members, but rather a ‘wider measure’ which includes ‘friends’ and ‘supporters’. 

Such a move would artificially inflate the Conservative membership numbers to hide the lost army of members who have fled since David Cameron became leader in 2005.

Many will understand that you do not want to promote a fall in Conservative Party membership of 118,600, but that cannot justify fiddling figures to cover the fact that your membership has shrunk by the equivalent of the population of Exeter or Tunbridge Wells. 

In the interests of transparency it is vital that you now disclose your total full membership, not the ‘wider measure’, and commit to doing so annually.

Without this commitment from you many will conclude that you intend to masquerade as a movement when in fact your party is hollowing out.

Yours sincerely,

Angela

  • Paul Adams

    Simple way for Labour to counter this absurd ploy by the Tories – just do the same at our Party Conference, include everyone who is a “friend or supporter” – I suspect we’ll be a bit higher than the Tories!

  • swatnan

    What a complete waste of time and electioneering from Eagle. Membership figures are an internal matter for the Tories, as they are for Labour. The’re going to massage their figures and if we had any sense we’ed massage ours. The fact is that because most people can’t fork out £46 quid for not much from the Party, you might as well go along as a supporter, and spend the money on agood pair of shoes for delivering leaflets.
    People can call themselves members without actually havinf paid their subs.

    • Frankie D.

      Yes, I’m sure the tory membership figures would remain “an internal matter” and would never be published anywhere in an attempt to to make the tories look more popular than they actually are…

      • Steve Stubbs

        For a change, I actually agree with Swatnan. It’s sod-all to do with us how many members they have. Especially as we have various grades of membership as well. Talk about the pot and the kettle …..

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