Jeremy Corbyn dumps loyalist MP and gets new election chiefs
Jon Trickett is said to have fallen out with one of Corbyn’s most powerful lieutenants.
Jeremy Corbyn has dumped a close ally from the key post of Labour election campaigns co-ordinator – and handed the job to two MPs.
The Labour leader has stripped Jon Trickett of the role, with some insiders talking of a “purge” by a senior Corbyn aide. He will now be shadow cabinet office minister.
The crucial job of getting Labour ready to fight the next general election has been given instead to Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery.
Gwynne ran the successful Oldham West and Royton by-election in December 2015 and is currently in charge of Labour’s campaign in Copeland.
He said: “I’m looking forward to working with my friend Ian coordinating our national elections and campaigns. Jon Trickett is one of the most decent and talented political figures in the Labour party, and I look forward to continuing his work”.
It emerged last night that Trickett - who has twice nominated Corbyn to be Labour leader - was losing his job as elections chief. He was said by friends to be upset that news of the move had leaked before he was told about it.
Labour sources said that Trickett felt the job was too much for him. “He had a lot on his plate”, one shadow cabinet member told The Guardian.
It has also been suggested by one Labour insider that he recently had a major row with senior Corbyn aide Karie Murphy and this had "finished him off".
Another source suggested that Trickett had been the victim of a “purge” by Murphy, who is known in Westminster as one of Corbyn’s most powerful lieutenants. She is one of a number of Corbyn’s close aides to feature in a new BBC Daily Politics film about his inner circle.
Corbyn’s team played down the news of Trickett’s removal from the job. A source close to the party leader said: "Any suggestion of sacking or demotion is wrong. Jon remains and will remain a key part of the core team. Any changes to responsibilities will be announced in due course."
But Labour insiders mocked the suggestion that Trickett was not being demoted. One told PoliticsHome: "Being election co-ordinator was the only thing he did. Are they going to make boiling the kettle a shadow cabinet post?"