‘Short money’ (named after the politician who instituted the system, Edward Short) is the name of the state funding to opposition parties to enable them to conduct the business of being an opposition.

As the largest party in opposition, Labour receives around £5.5 million in Short money for the current financial year – plus £789,000 specifically for the purpose of funding the office of the Labour leader.

In September last year, I sat through an excruciating session at Labour’s annual Conference, listening to the party’s treasurer patting herself and the platform on the back over the abundant condition of the party’s debt-free finances – ironically with no acknowledgement whatever of the fact that the party owes that state of affairs to the massive surge in the Corbyn-supporting membership, which now generates annual income for the party of £50 million.

The Labour Party is not ‘short’ of cash. So there…

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