Labour went cap-in-hand to two scandal-hit consultancy firms that its own shadow chancellor said should be broken up, openDemocracy can reveal.

The party has quietly accepted more than £230,000 worth of free staff from ‘big four’ accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst & Young (EY) since Keir Starmer took over as leader in 2020.

It comes four years after an inquiry chaired by Rachel Reeves, now Labour’s shadow chancellor, recommended the accounting giants be broken up and a new independent regulator be established. The government notionally accepted the suggestions but neither was acted on, and PwC is now in the midst of an Australian scandal, having been accused of misusing confidential government tax plans.

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