Jon Ashworth says Labour Together will focus on ‘bold ideas’ and next election as ex-MP becomes think tank chief

Tom Belger

The former shadow cabinet member Jon Ashworth, who lost his Leicester seat at the election, has been appointed the new chief executive of the influential Starmerite think tank Labour Together.

It comes after its former chief Josh Simons was elected as the new MP for Makerfield.

The appointment of such a senior Labour figure to the think tank, which has swelled in size, resources and influence from just two staff to dozens in the past two years, suggests it is likely to remain closely linked to and valuable to the new Labour administration. It was highly involved in both Labour’s election preparations and Starmer’s previous leadership campaign.

Ashworth was previously Shadow Paymaster General, but was one of several Labour MPs defeated by independent candidates in areas with higher numbers of Muslim voters, in what has been widely seen as a backlash over the party’s Gaza stance. He had been an MP since 2010.

The think tank said: “We are delighted to welcome Jon Ashworth as our new Chief Executive. After more than two decades working at the highest levels of Labour, Jonathan brings unparalleled insight, relationships and political experience to Labour Together.”

Ashworth wrote on X: “Some personal news. Labour Together was so integral to our victory last week. LT will continue to generate bold ideas to transform Britain for the better and help win a second term. I’m so honoured and excited to now be part of this amazing team.”

Simons wrote: “Over the last eight years, Labour Together has helped Labour become an electoral force equipped and ready to change Britain for the better. I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to lead it for the past few years. Today, I’m handing over to Jon Ashworth.”


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