Helene Reardon-Bond OBE has been appointed as the new staffer managing Jeremy Corbyn’s office, following the departure of chief of staff Karie Murphy who has been seconded to Labour HQ.
While Murphy oversees general election preparations in Southside, party headquarters, and retains her current job title, Reardon-Bond will run the Labour leader’s office in the Commons as its new director.
A Labour source said: “As we gear up for a general election, Labour is bolstering our team to take on the Tories and ensure a Labour government can hit the ground running with our programme to transform the country.
“Karie Murphy will strengthen the election operation at Labour HQ to drive the general election campaign and Helene Reardon-Bond will bring her experience and expertise to the leader’s office to step up our preparations for government.”
The news was broken by HuffPost UK‘s Paul Waugh, who has reported that Reardon-Bond will take up the new role in the next few weeks – though her exact duties are still to be decided according to insiders.
The new appointee is an expert on gender equality, particularly the gender pay gap, and a former senior civil servant. She used to be head of policy at the government equalities office, where she led a consultation on bringing the voice of women to government.
The women’s rights campaigner is also chair of governors at Rhyl Primary School in Kentish Town, Camden. She was awarded an OBE in 2008 for her work in the public and voluntary sector.
Earlier this year, she chaired the newly launched Camden Women’s Forum, which involved local council leader Georgia Gould and councillor Angela Mason who was once director of LGBT rights organisation Stonewall.
LabourList understands that she considered running for election as a Labour council candidate in Camden last year, but ultimately dropped the idea after not being approved by the selection panel. She did become Camden’s gender equality champion, however.
The new office manager is also the mother of Jack Bond, who has been a key member of Corbyn’s team for some years – mainly being responsible for the Labour leader’s tweets and wider social media output. Her husband is often Corbyn’s driver.
It has been suggested that the equalities expert could be particularly helpful at a time when Labour is being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The EHRC is looking into whether the party “has unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish”.
Labour activist and Guardian writer Owen Jones tweeted praise of the new appointment, describing Reardon-Bond as “a lifelong socialist and a lovely person to boot”.