Cook and Blair at Labour Party headquarters

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Indy Politics
ROBIN COOK (left), trade and industry spokesman, and Tony Blair, home affairs spokesman, giving interviews after emerging from a national executive committee meeting at Labour Party headquarters in London yesterday, writes Nicholas Timmins. To ease the party's financial crisis, the NEC agreed to cut headquarters staff from 120 to 90. The party is to switch spending to regional and local level as it faces an anticipated 20 per cent or 1 million drop in trade union affiliations over the next five years, when its fully-paid up membership stands at just 200,000. Final decisions on staffing and any compulsory redundancies were postponed after five hours of talks. Over the next four years, Labour has to repay an overdraft of pounds 2.1m, but by slashing expenditure now it hopes to emerge with a pounds 10m fighting fund for the next general election.

(Photograph omitted)