A new chief of staff for Ed, and other changes

Big changes are taking place in Ed Miliband’s team before Christmas, as he announced a new Chief of Staff today.

Tim Livesey – a former senior civil servant – has today been confirmed in the role. Sources close to Miliband have described him as a “heavyweight”, and he’s perhaps most notable for working with NATO to shake up the Kosovo operation, as well as being the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Public Affairs & Secretary for International Affairs.

Lucy Powell, who has been Miliband’s Acting Chief of Staff since his election as leader will take on the role of Deputy Chief of Staff, with responsibility for political and external relationships,  following Livesey’s appointment – the position she had always been intended to hold in the leader’s office.

Although eyebrows may be raised at the timing of these changes, it is believed that they have been planned for some time. Miliband and Powell were said to be wary of appointing a Chief of Staff hastily. Announcing the news, Miliband said:

“Tim has a wealth of knowledge and experience of Whitehall and Westminster. 

“He is also someone who brings deep values and commitment to making Britain a fairer, more just country. I look forward to him putting these skills and ideals into practice to help us as an effective Opposition and an alternative to this Government.”

Other potential changes in the new year could involve Miliband’s current Head of News Bob Roberts. He is in the running to be one of the party’s six new “Executive Directors” taking charge of party communications. If he moves to that role, we understand he’d still be working with the leader’s office, and would still be responsible for briefing the lobby. The role of the other senior former newspaper man in Ed’s team – Tom Baldwin – will remain unchanged.

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