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Tue, 7 April 2020

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By Hft
By Dods General Election Hub 2019

Labour leadership candidates line up to reject Murphy and Formby party shake-up plans

Labour leadership candidates line up to reject Murphy and Formby party shake-up plans
3 min read

Every candidate running to be the next Labour leader has rejected plans by Jeremy Corbyn allies for a radical shake-up of the party before he steps down.

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

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

The pair want 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.

The plans have already sparked a fierce backlash, with one Labour insider accusing Ms Murphy and Ms Formby of pursuing a "scorched earth" policy.

The Unite and GMB unions, which represent Labour Party staff, have already hit out at the proposals, and have now been backed by all six declared leadership candidates.

A spokesperson for bookies' favourite Sir Keir Starmer said: "Hard working staff need immediate reassurance, not a rushed reorganisation.

"It’s important any structural changes to the Labour Party are undertaken by the new leadership team following a full consultation with staff and trade unions."

A spokesperson for Rebecca Long Bailey, who is seen as the "continuity Corbyn" candidate, said: "If these reports are true then no decisions must be made in haste and it would be misguided for restructuring to take place before the installation of the next leader of the party, and any changes must be subject to full consultation with trade unions."

Fellow candidate Lisa Nandy said: "Decisions on the future structure of the Labour Party should not be made in haste.

"We need to listen and learn the lessons from this election defeat and rebuild from there. It will take change from the top to the bottom of the Labour Party but we must do it together and in the right way."

Jess Phillips said Unite and the GMB had her "full support" in opposing the planned changes. She added: "Staff deserve better and the new leadership team will want to make a fresh start. I am particularly concerned about rumoured changes to our regional offices. They’re the backbone to successful campaigns."

Emily Thornberry is also understood to be backing the unions, while Clive Lewis said: "Reorganisation of our party's structure may well need to happen. But that should be done after a thorough debate has been had. To pre-empt that as well as the wider consultation and engagement we should embark upon with our members would, in my opinion, be wrong."

A senior Labour Party source said: "Organisational review is normal and necessary after a general election. 

"Any staffing or structural changes would be subject to full consultation with the relevant trade unions."

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