Jeremy Corbyn swoops for BBC exec and New Labour spinner

Written by David Singleton on 10 May 2018 in Diary

Carl Shoben co-authored an infamous 'note on print journalists' that was leaked to the press in 2001.

Jeremy Corbyn has appointed former BBC executive Anjula Singh as Labour’s new director of communications.

Singh has already started the new role, reporting in to communications chief and Corbyn’s right-hand man Seumas Milne. She was previously head of business change at BBC News, where she led a team managing the introduction of a new digital culture across the newsroom. In 2016, she was described in a profile as a “quiet achiever” who had become the most senior Asian female at the BBC.

More intriguingly, the Labour leader has also brought in veteran New Labour spinner Carl Shoben as the party’s new director of strategy. Shoben has recently worked as an NHS communications chief. During the New Labour years he was a party press officer and then a Number 10 special adviser.

He will already be well-known to a handful of leading lobby hacks as the co-author of an infamous 2001 “note on print journalists” that was leaked to The Guardian and then written up as a news story by none other than Seumas Milne (and Kevin Maguire).

The memo notes describes Paul Waugh as a “political machinery fanatic” and Patrick Wintour as someone whose exclusives “are rarely as good as they initially seem”.

Meanwhile, Milne is described as being close to Peter Mandelson. How times change!







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