Jeremy Corbyn has responded to Labour’s terrible result in Copeland by shaking up his top team of aides.
The party leader made two key appointments to his strategy and communications team over the weekend and little more than a week after losing key official Simon Fletcher over an apparent frustration at the lack of direction at the top of the party.
Last night it emerged that Niall Sookoo, a former Unite staffer who previously had a spell working for Corbyn, would return to take up the role of campaigns director.
Meanwhile Corbyn has brought in a public relations specialist to serve as Labour’s deputy director of strategy and communications.
Steve Howell, who set up communications agency Freshwater in 1997 after working as a reporter for BBC Radio Wales and Wales Today, will continue as a non-executive director of the firm.
The shake-up, revealed by a Mirror journalist last night, comes as Corbyn faces intense criticism of his strategy from Labour MPs.
Yesterday Tom Watson, deputy leader, described his dismay at Labour’s progress but said this was not a time for a leadership election.
“All of us with leadership roles in the Labour Party need to have a long, hard look at ourselves and what’s not working,” he told Scottish Labour conference.
Seamus Milne, the former Guardian journalist who is Corbyn’s director of communications, will stay on with Corbyn having converted his period of leave from the newspaper into resignation from journalism earlier this year.