Conservative councillors struggle to muster enough volunteers

In a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May, 100 Conservative councillors warned that they have been struggling to find enough volunteers for local elections next month. 

They said, “We are short of party members to come out and canvass because the belief in the party they joined is gone.

"Many of us have knocked on the door of paid-up party members only to hear that they will no longer support Conservatives because they feel betrayed over Brexit. 

Donations have dried up,” adding, “We are extremely concerned that the Government’s breach of faith with the electorate on Brexit will result in long-serving Conservative councillors losing office through no fault of their own. Democracy only works if you make manifesto promises you will intend to keep … Frankly, we have not witnessed anger and incomprehension like this.”

Elsewhere, 80 Labour MPs, including shadow ministers, signed a letter sent to Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday calling for a second referendum as the “bottom line” in negotiations with Theresa May. 

The letter warned that any concessions secured in the cross-party talks cannot be guaranteed.

Meanwhile, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the labour costs in the UK rose at its fastest rate for five years in 2018. 

The data showed that wages grew faster than labour productivity last year, which has resulted in an increase in unit labour costs of 3.1%. ONS deputy chief economist Richard Heys said that the results are a consequence of “a continuation of a decade of weak growth,” adding, “It has taken the UK a decade to deliver 2 per cent growth, which historically was achieved in a single year.”

Meanwhile, business confidence has dropped to its lowest since 2012 in the UK, according to the BDO optimism index. 

The BDO said, “In absolute terms, sentiment is now weaker than its previous low point after the UK’s vote to leave the EU in 2016,” adding, “The services sector, which comprises around 80% of UK GDP, drove the overall decline in confidence with the sector index falling by a dramatic 4.15 points to 95.13 in March.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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