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Sat, 28 November 2020

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EXCL Top Jeremy Corbyn spin doctor quits after just six months in the job

EXCL Top Jeremy Corbyn spin doctor quits after just six months in the job
2 min read

One of Jeremy Corbyn's top spin doctors has quit after just six months in the job, PoliticsHome can reveal.


Steve Howell is standing down as the Labour leader's deputy director of communications and strategy.

He took an indefinite leave of absence from Freshwater, the lobbying agency he set up in Cardiff in 1997, to take up his post with Mr Corbyn in February.

Mr Howell had previously worked as a news reporter and producer for BBC Radio Wales.

A source close to Mr Corbyn told PoliticsHome: "Steve's appointment was always for a limited period because he lives in Cardiff. He will continue to undertake work on a part-time basis for the leader's office."

The source also rejected suggestions that Mr Howell had fallen out with Seumas Milne, the Labour leader's communications and strategy director.

Mr Howell is the latest figure to leave Mr Corbyn's office after a relatively short period of time working for him.

In March, Jayne Fisher quit after just two months as "head of stakeholder engagement". She was joined by Matt Zarb-Cousin, who had been the Labour boss's media spokesman for 10 months.

Earlier the same month, economic policy chief Mike Hatchett also left after just a year in the job.

A host of other senior figures have left the leader's office during Mr Corbyn's time in charge, including director of campaigns and planning Simon Fletcher earlier this year, along with head of policy Neale Coleman and deputy chief of staff Anneliese Midgley, who both resigned last year.

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