The leader of the opposition’s office – or LOTO, as it is known – is getting a shake-up ahead of a likely early election, with three employees being moved to Labour HQ.
Karie Murphy, Jeremy Corbyn’s chief of staff, Amy Jackson, his political director, and Joe Bradley, a liaison between LOTO, affiliated unions and Labour’s ruling body, are set to work from Southside.
After being seconded to the party headquarters, all three will retain their current roles – including Murphy who is not losing her senior job title – as they are already employed by the Labour Party.
A Labour source said: “As we ramp up campaigning ahead of a general election, we are maximising the use of the resources we have to ensure we are successful. Karie will drive this crucial work from HQ, as she did during the last election.”
The news has been interpreted by some as a snub to Murphy, particularly because – according to a report by PoliticsHome – it is understood that the key staffer was informed of the change by Sir Bob Kerslake over the phone.
Over the last few months, tensions between major figures in LOTO and elected leadership individuals have reportedly been rising. The Sunday Times revealed during Labour conference that senior policy adviser Andrew Fisher was resigning due to a “blizzard of lies and excuses” in LOTO.
In a leaked memo, Fisher claimed that the leadership team suffered from a “lack of professionalism, competence and human decency”. He later confirmed that he would be quitting by the end of the year to spend more time with his young family.
It was Fisher who “finally convinced” Corbyn personally that a reorganisation of staffers was necessary, according to a double-sourced report from The Guardian.