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Sat, 4 April 2020

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By Dods General Election Hub 2019

EXCL Jeremy Corbyn allies Karie Murphy and Jennie Formby ditch Labour shake-up plans following backlash

EXCL Jeremy Corbyn allies Karie Murphy and Jennie Formby ditch Labour shake-up plans following backlash
2 min read

Allies of Jeremy Corbyn have been forced to scrap plans for a major reorganisation of the party before he stands down as leader.

PoliticsHome revealed on Sunday how Karie Murphy, Mr Corbyn's chief of staff, and Labour general secretary Jennie Formby had drawn up the changes in the wake of last month's general election defeat.

They included plans to change Labour's "analytics" team, which assesses data and polling, and also rip up the system of regional party organisers

The pair wanted the "far-reaching" changes - which would lead to some staff redundancies - to be in place by the end of March, before Mr Corbyn steps down.

But the proposals sparked a fierce backlash, with the Unite and GMB trade unions, as well as all the candidates vying to succeed Mr Corbyn, calling for them to be ditched.

In a letter to Labour staff, Ms Formby has now confirmed that the changes will not go ahead until after the new leader is in place.

She said: "It is no longer the case that we must be election ready and we must now reflect on how we deliver an effective and efficient opposition for the next five years. 

"An organisational review will be part of this but such a review will not formally start until a new leader is in place and no staffing or structural changes will be implemented prior to the new Leader being in place.

"Of course, as is always the case, any changes would also be subject to full consultation with our trade unions and we would welcome suggestions and feedback through the experienced reps that we have."

The U-turn comes after the six leadership candidates backed a joint-statement from Unite and GMB opposing the changes.

It said: "As candidates in the leadership and deputy leadership campaigns we firmly believe that a thorough review should be the duty and the responsibility of the next leadership team when a full and frank debate has taken place.

"It would be a mistake for the party to undertake any steps towards reorganisation of the party until a new leader and deputy leader are in place."

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