One of Labour’s biggest donors, John Mills, has said that it’s “utterly untrue” he will stop giving money to the party following Jeremy Corbyn’s victory on Saturday.
The Daily Telegraph (£) have reported that Mills will stop being a donor to the party and that he will fund organisations that want to see Corbyn ousted as Labour’s new leader.
Mills however has released a statement (which you can read in full below) saying that these reports are “complete untrue”. “I’d like to reiterate that I’ve been a loyal member of the Labour Party for more than 40 years and will always remain so”, he wrote.
He explained that the party holds shares in his company JML and they they were entitled to collect their dividends whenever they want. “That is their right”, he says.
He also “categorically” denies that he is involved in any campaigns to oust Corbyn. He writes, “I am not involved with Labour for the Common Good which is an organisation whose existence I’ve only read about in the papers along with everyone else. Jeremy Corbyn was fairly elected as leader of the Labour Party and has a mandate from the Party and its members.”
Labour for Common Good is an organisation set up by former Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt and former Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna. They have said that it is not meant as a resistance group but rather a place for MPs from all wins of Labour to “discuss problems the party and country face, and ideas on how to solve them”.
Here’s Mills’ statement in full
It was reported today in the Daily Telegraph that I am to stop being a donor to the Labour Party. This is utterly untrue. It was also reported that I am to start funding organisations who wish to work to oust Jeremy Corbyn. This is also completely untrue.
I am always happy to talk to journalists both on and off the record. But in return, I do expect to be quoted accurately and my views given in a balanced way, without unnecessary ‘spin’. The piece in the Daily Telegraph is wholly inaccurate because:
1. The Labour Party holds shares in my company, JML, which were donated by me. The Labour Party is therefore entitled to collect the dividends now, today, and for the indefinite future regardless of who leads the Party. That is their right.
2. I categorically deny that I am involved with any campaigns whatsoever to oust Jeremy Corbyn. I am not involved with Labour for the Common Good which is an organisation whose existence I’ve only read about in the papers along with everyone else. Jeremy Corbyn was fairly elected as leader of the Labour Party and has a mandate from the Party and its members.
3. After our defeat in May, I believe the Party needs fresh thinking and to this end I will consider funding established think-tanks and research organisations. This is the extent of any additional funding.
Finally, I’d like to reiterate that I’ve been a loyal member of the Labour Party for more than 40 years and will always remain so.