Labour Party membership soars by 35,000 since general election

Surge marks 7 per cent increase in members since before election

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Indy Politics

Labour Party membership has surged by 35,000 in the four days since the general election.

Jeremy Corbyn told MPs and peers on Tuesday night that 35,000 new members had joined the party since Friday, marking an increase of 7 per cent since the figure was last reported in March, when it stood at 517,000.

The notable rise came after Labour gained 30 extra seats in the election on 8 June, exceeding expectations and preventing Theresa May from winning her desired majority in Parliament.

Ms May has since been forced to find allies in the Commons in order to wield enough power to pass laws, which has driven her to ask for support from the conservative DUP, a move that has attracted criticism.

The rise in members follows unsubstantiated reports that the party had gained 150,000 new members since the election, which were later proved to be false after a Labour Party spokesperson told The Independent they were not numbers they recognised.

Mr Corbyn was greeted with cheers and a long standing ovation as he arrived at the first meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party since the Conservatives lost their Commons majority, in marked contrast to the difficult meetings he had with his critics in the party prior to the election.

The Labour leader told MPs that Ms May's premiership had no mandate and no legitimacy, declaring: “We are now a government in waiting”, and said Labour would remain on a general election footing due to the instability of the minority Tory government.

“Last Thursday, we turned the tables on Theresa May's gamble and gained seats in every region and nation of Britain and I'm particularly delighted that we have increased our representation in Scotland," Mr Corbyn said.

“Now the election is over, the next phase of our campaign to win power for the majority has already begun. We must remain in permanent campaign mode on a general election footing. 

“We achieved what we did last Thursday because we were a united party during the campaign and we need to maintain that unity and collective discipline in the weeks and months ahead.”

The Labour leader added that he would be focusing on the marginal seats required for the Labour Party to gain a majority, and accused Ms May of putting together a government that is “far from strong and stable”.

“We will continue to take the fight to the Tories and I will be out campaigning around the country in Conservative marginals in those extra seats we need to gain to deliver the government for the many that almost 13 million people voted for last week,” he said.

“Now as Parliament returns, we have a Government in complete disarray still unable to reach an agreement, it seems, with the DUP and desperately delaying the Queen's Speech and Brexit negotiations.

“Far from being strong and stable, the Government Theresa May is putting together is weak, wobbly and out of control. This is a Government on notice from the voters.”