Labour leadership candidates pledge to support interns

The campaign group Intern Aware have taken advantage of the Labour
leadership battle to get the candidates to commit to enforcing
national minimum wage for interns. They are asking all contenders to
sign this pledge:

If I am elected leader of the Labour Party I will campaign for Labour’s Minimum Wage Act to be fully enforced so that employers must pay their interns what they are due.

So far a rather dapper looking Andy Burnham has signed it, and the Milibands have agreed to as well. No news on Ed Balls… and Diane Abbott would be a suprise because we have heard the number of unpaid interns she has could reach double figures! One spoke to us recently to say she worked unpaid for a year and a half before being given a paid role. Real social justice there Diane, you hypocrite.

On the campaign, I think it’s a great idea to use this attempted renewal of the Labour Party to get interns on the agenda. With more young people graduating in a tough economic climate, it’s time politicians enforced the national minimum wage laws they themselves brought in. Intern Aware need to be congratulated for taking this to the top.

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4 Responses to “Labour leadership candidates pledge to support interns”

  1. 1 Mark Watson 07/24/2010 at 7:49 am

    Diane Abbott’s recent advert for an unpaid intern is clearly one for someone who is expected to do real work for no money:

    working for Diane Abbott MP (Hackney North & Stoke Newington)

    salary There will be no salary, however expenses for lunch and travel will be reimbursed

    details Reporting to the Office Manager – duties are as follows:
    Answering the telephone, taking messages, opening post, filing, photocopying, correspondence, attending advice sessions, general office junior duties.

    closes 28 August 2009

    contact All applicants should send in a CV with a covering letter/e-mail. Please address to Sonia John-Lewis at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA or


    It might be an idea for Ms Abbott to stick to the law that applies to everyone else if she really wants to lead her party.

  2. 2 Sneak in the grass 07/25/2010 at 2:02 pm

    If you care to check past expense claims you’ll see that one MP has no trouble claiming vast sums to pay for professional photography fees, yet also purchased some pretty hefty digital camera equipment for herself. Equipment which, funnily enough, isn’t used for work!

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Interns Anonymous

We want this website to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment. Most importantly, we want this site to be a place where YOU can tell us your story.


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