Unite the Union’s political director Anneliese Midgley has been appointed as a senior special adviser to Labour leader Keir Starmer after choosing not to apply for the general secretary job.
Commenting on the news revealed by HuffPost UK today, a spokesperson for Starmer said: “Anneliese brings a wealth of talent and experience to the Labour Party. She will have a crucial role to play in uniting our movement so we can win the next general election.”
Midgley tweeted: “I am delighted to be joining Keir Starmer’s team to help deliver a Labour government in 2024. Thank you to everyone @unitetheunion & especially to the wonderful @unitepolitics [team] which is brimming with talent”.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey tweeted: “Anneliese Midgley has been an invaluable adviser to me and helped extend Unite’s political influence and advance our political strategy.
“We all wish her the very best in her new post. Many congratulations @anneliese_midge and I look forward to keeping in touch!”
Midgley was considered to be a frontrunner among those hoping to be selected as Labour’s next general secretary. She had support from members of the parliamentary party and from a breadth of party insiders.
But, while she was seen as a unity candidate, it was thought that she did not apply because the leader’s office settled on a different favourite for the post – former assistant general secretary David Evans.
Currently at Unite, Midgley previously worked for Ken Livingstone as London mayor. She also worked on Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign and became his deputy chief of staff.
Her new Labour role will involve responsibilities for mobilising activists and developing engagement with party and trade union members.