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Jeremy Corbyn branded a ‘hypocrite’ after begging Blair-era donors to back Labour

Jeremy Corbyn will rattle the tin at a meeting of the elite Thousand Club where financiers and lawyers are asked to pay £1,200 to £5,000 a year to hobnob with politicians

Jeremy Corbyn was last night branded a hypocrite after relaunching Tony Blair’s exclusive fundraising club for New Labour’s city slicker backers.

His team have written to former donors begging them to come back and telling them they are ‘not forgotten’ despite the Lefty leader attacking bankers for giving to political parties.

Mr Corbyn will rattle the tin at a meeting of the elite Thousand Club where financiers and lawyers are asked to pay £1,200 to £5,000 a year to hobnob with politicians.

He will be the star turn at a meeting of the club on December 5 and will address them at the ornate grand hall of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn in the heart of London’s legal establishment.

The group was launched in the 1990s by New Labour as part of its ‘prawn cocktail offensive’ to win over the City but has withered as the party shifted to the hard Left.

The fundraising drive comes as Mr Corbyn’s radical agenda has left the party almost entirely reliant on membership fees, trade union donations and taxpayer funding rather than large individual donors. 

When he seized control in 2015 it was reported that the Thousand Club had 764 members, with 98 who gave more than £5,000 to the party, totalling £1.2 million.

He will be the star turn at a meeting of the club on December 5 and will address them at the ornate grand hall of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn in the heart of London’s legal establishment (pictured)

He will be the star turn at a meeting of the club on December 5 and will address them at the ornate grand hall of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn in the heart of London’s legal establishment (pictured)

The Thousand Club was launched in the 1990s by New Labour as part of its ‘prawn cocktail offensive’ to win over the City but has withered as the party shifted to the hard Left

The Thousand Club was launched in the 1990s by New Labour as part of its ‘prawn cocktail offensive’ to win over the City but has withered as the party shifted to the hard Left

By 2017 that had plummeted to 437, with 31 choosing to donate more, raising £592,000. Membership numbers fell amid bitter party civil war over anti-Semitism and Mr Corbyn’s plans for sweeping nationalisation.

Mr Corbyn’s team has tasked frontbench ally and former lawyer Emily Thornberry with launching an ‘ambitious’ new recruitment drive for the club. 

She has already reached out to members who quit the group to beg them to return. In a gushing email to all former members she insisted their ‘commitment and support’ had ‘not been forgotten’. 

But one former donor told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This party member wouldn’t give Corbyn money in a thousand years.’

The fundraising drive comes as Mr Corbyn’s radical agenda has left the party almost entirely reliant on membership fees, trade union donations and taxpayer funding rather than large individual donors

The fundraising drive comes as Mr Corbyn’s radical agenda has left the party almost entirely reliant on membership fees, trade union donations and taxpayer funding rather than large individual donors

Last year Mr Corbyn launched a blistering assault on the Tories for fundraising from the City, saying: ‘Bankers should not run our country, but they think they do,’ adding it was because the party they fund and protect, the Conservative Party, is in Downing Street.

Last night the Tories leapt on Mr Corbyn’s about turn, with MP Chris Philp hitting out: ‘This is typical hypocrisy from Jeremy Corbyn who’s now gone with a begging bowl to the very people he’s spent a lifetime slamming.’

Earlier this year Labour notched up a record low in first quarter donations, raising just £1,535,218 in the first three months of 2018.

Tony Blair raised £5,487,567 in the same part of the year in 2003.

A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘We, of course, welcome larger donations from those who can most afford it.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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