Luke Sullivan, a former staff of Nick Brown in the whips’ office, has been appointed as Keir Starmer’s new director of politics, replacing Jenny Chapman who has become a shadow Brexit minister in the House of Lords.
LabourList understands that this is a permanent appointment, rather than an interim one as in the case of new communications director Matthew Doyle, the former Tony Blair aide who will be starting on July 5th.
Labour MPs were told of the news today in a message that read: “Colleagues will be pleased to learn that Luke Sullivan has been appointed as political director in LOTO [the leader’s office] with immediate effect.
“Luke has a wealth of experience as a special adviser in the whip’s office both in government and opposition and I know that many of you already work closely with him through his role in the whips office. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to him.”
Sullivan previously acted as a liaison between the leader’s office and the chief whip. He is one of the most experienced Labour staffers, having worked for chief whips since Gordon Brown was Prime Minister.
He has worked in the past particularly under veteran chief whip Nick Brown, who was sacked in Starmer’s May reshuffle. Alan Campbell, having served as deputy chief whip under Brown for more than ten years, replaced him.
Chapman was removed as political director in the leader’s office last week. The former Darlington MP joined the shadow cabinet in her new post as the opposite number to Lord Frost, the Brexit minister.
“Great appointment,” shadow cabinet member Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions, tweeted in response to the news of Sullivan’s new role.