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Yvette Cooper and David Lammy will spearhead the Labour Party’s drive to attract more private donors, HuffPost UK can reveal.

The shadow home secretary and shadow foreign secretary will become the new co-chairs of the so-called Rose Network, the fundraising alliance set up under New Labour.

The move comes as the party gears up its efforts to build a war chest for the next general election.

Labour says it has seen 350 new members join the Rose Network in the last year, in a sign of its growing influence.

Cooper and Lammy will replace current co-chairs Rosena Allin-Khan and Anneliese Dodds, who will focus on her role leading the party’s national policy forum.

Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, will also continue in her role as a co-chair of the Rose Network.

A Labour source said: “The fact that two of the most senior members of the shadow cabinet, David and Yvette, are taking this role shows just how seriously the party is taking closing the traditional funding gap with the Tories ahead of the next general election.”

With the polls consistently putting Labour 20 points ahead of the Tories, there has been a renewed effort to get the party on to an election footing.

When Jeremy Corbyn was leader, the vast majority of Labour’s funding came from the trade unions and membership fees.

However, strained relations with the trade unions over Labour’s stance on strike action has prompted Starmer’s efforts diversify the party’s income.

The Labour leader scored a major coup when Gareth Quarry, a multimillionaire Tory donor, defected to party following the fallout of Liz Truss’s leadership — branding the former prime minister and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, “zealots”.

Labour also surpassed the Tories in donations for the first time in more than a year from July to September, taking £4.7million in total.

The Conservatives, hampered by the turmoil caused by Boris Johnson’s exit from office, saw donations slump to about £3 million from the £5.4million recorded in the previous quarter.

However, the Electoral Commission data also showed that Labour still relies heavily on trade unions for political funding, accepting £1.6million in total.

Lammy and Cooper, regarded as among the most experienced fundraisers in the party, both came under the spotlight earlier this month for individual donations and earnings they had amassed over the course of this parliament.

Analysis by Sky News found that the shadow foreign secretary had earned more than £200,000 since 2019, deriving much of his income from his radio show on LBC.

Meanwhile, Cooper was one of a trio of Labour MPs to receive donations from MPM Connect, an obscure company part-owned by the Labour donor Peter Hearn.

Starmer defended Lammy’s outside earnings as “part of the political process”, despite previously announcing that he would bring in a ban on MPs’ second jobs, with some exceptions.

HuffPost UK reported last year that Starmer wanted to centralise the party’s fundraising campaign in order to build up a multi-million pound war chest for a potential snap election.

It was reported at the time that the Labour leader had forced his frontbenchers to stop fundraising for their own offices and instead focus on boosting the party’s own coffers.

This week Starmer and Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, both made an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an event that is attended by the world economic elite.

The pair have sought to project a more pro-business image than existed under Corbyn, who snubbed the gathering during his leadership.

Reeves told the audience that she wanted to “send a message” that under Labour “the British economy will be open for business again”.

“Labour want to form the next government and so we think it’s really important to be here talking to business and investors about our plans for the future,” she said.




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#Exclusive #Yvette #Cooper #David #Lammy #Lead #Labour #Efforts #Woo #Donors

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