Leadership frontrunners both appoint pro-Corbyn figures to campaign teams

Sienna Rodgers

Both frontrunners in Labour’s leadership race – Rebecca Long-Bailey and Keir Starmer – have appointed key Corbynite figures to senior positions in their campaign teams.

Rebecca Long-Bailey has started to make progress in putting her campaign team together after a slow start. LabourList understands that Jon Lansman is now officially Long-Bailey’s campaign director. The new appointee co-founded Momentum and still chairs the organisation, which grew out of Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign. He is also a member of Labour’s ruling national executive committee.

Matt Zarb-Cousin has become Long-Bailey’s head of communications. He was most recently a spokesperson for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, having led the the successful campaign against fixed-odds betting terminals along with other Labour figures such as Carolyn Harris MP. Between 2016 and 2017 he was a spokesperson for Corbyn as Labour leader, and he has been vocal as a left-winger on Twitter since then.

Frontrunner Keir Starmer has chosen to release his appointments to the press. The campaign is proud of its team because appointees cover the broad spectrum of the party – from Kat Fletcher and Simon Fletcher, who both worked on Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign, to Liz Kendall 2015 organiser Morgan McSweeney and Ben Nunn who worked on Owen Smith’s bid.

His key campaign team appointments are as follows: former MP Jenny Chapman as chair, Simon Fletcher as strategic campaign adviser, Morgan McSweeney as campaign manager, Kat Fletcher as director of field, Chris Ward as deputy campaign manager, Ellie Robinson as head of stakeholder engagement and Ben Nunn as director of communications.

A spokesperson for Keir Starmer said: “This campaign will draw on the talent, energy and enthusiasm of activists from across the Labour movement. It will be about making the positive case for why another future is possible for our country and our party.”

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