How Labour Works

How Labour Works

How Labour Works is Portland’s view into what will shape Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party as it prepares to win its first general election since 2005.

More importantly, it’s a bible for organisations seeking to influence how Labour might govern.

It’s 21 years since Portland was formed out of the office of Tony Blair, the most electorally successful Labour Party leader in history.

Our consultants’ unrivalled knowledge of how Labour worked then helped countless businesses and organisations navigate British politics in the noughties.

But after nearly 13 years in Opposition, the opinion polls are clear.

The prospect of a return to government for the Labour Party has never been so strong.

Influencing the Labour Party is significantly more complex than working with the Conservative Party to shape the operating environment for any business or organisation.

To its supporters and members, Labour’s strength is its dynamic democracy.

But that same strength is also its weakness.

Decision-makers are under pressure from a much broader range of groups, including members, affiliates, factions and funders, than most other mainstream political parties.

Understanding how these groups are inter-connected, how much power they wield, and what their objectives are, is crucial to effective engagement with Labour.

Businesses don’t need to engage with each and every one of these influencing groups and bodies.

But navigating the Labour movement requires insight, knowledge and judgment to know how and when to engage.

Who’s who in the Leader’s office? What are the Leader’s priorities? How influential are the trades unions? And which are the most influential? 

What’s the make-up of the National Executive Committee and why does it matter? Who holds sway in the myriad interest and pressure groups which come together to form the Party? What, today, does the membership look like and how might it change if the nation puts Labour back into power? 

Portland’s outstanding team of consultants has the answers to these and many more questions which will inevitably surface in the coming months.

Next in the series, Portland will lift the lid on the individuals who matter, including key members of the Shadow Cabinet and their inner sanctum, and how the policies of key departments will be shaped by those individuals and personalities.

This document is written and edited by experts across Portland with unrivalled knowledge of today’s Labour Party.

Alastair Campbell remains the most prominent architect of the New Labour project. He is now Portland’s Advisor. As he sets out, business shouldn’t miss the boat on its chance to shape policy direction of a future government.  

George Pascoe-Watson was the Political Editor of The Sun during the reign of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He is now Portland’s UK Chairman.

Few consultants have had such intimate knowledge of the journey the Labour Party has been on – winning power, governing, and rebuilding through Opposition.

How Labour Works provides an in-depth understanding of the very real political tensions inside Labour today, authored by current Labour campaigners from within our ranks. 

Click here to download the essay series.

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