Jeremy Corbyn poised to strengthen grip on Labour as long-standing election chief quits

Posted On: 
6th September 2017

Labour's long-standing election chief has quit - opening the way for Jeremy Corbyn to tighten his grip on the party.

Jeremy Corbyn outside Labour HQ on the day after the general election.
PA Images

HuffPost revealed last night that Patrick Heneghan was standing down as the party's Executive Director of Elections, Organisations and Campaigns.

In nearly 15 years with the party, he served under five leaders and was involved in five general elections and 19 sets of local elections.

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In a memo to Labour staff, Mr Heneghan said it was time to "move onto something new".

The well-respected party official said: "From the day I joined this party as a teenager in the mid 90’s I’ve been in activist for the simple reason that I’ve always believed that to build a fairer society the Labour party had to win elected office.

"It has been an immense privilege to have had this opportunity to do a job where I put that belief into practise serving our party in a role leading on elections and campaigns.  Following this year’s election I’m confident our party can make the necessary advances at the next election so we can again be a party of government."

However, PoliticsHome has been told that Mr Heneghan had clashed with staff in Mr Corbyn's office and had "had enough".

One source said: "He's just sick of the whole thing and can't work with Jeremy's team any more. He hasn't got a job lined up, he just can't face those people. It's very sad."

Another party insider said: "Patrick was fed up with it all and is glad to be out of it."

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, buoyed by Labour's better than expected election performance, will now move to replace Mr Heneghan with someone from their wing of the party.

Mr Corbyn said: "I want to thank Patrick for his hard work, professionalism and service to the party over many years.

"I’d especially like to thank him for the tireless role he played in the general election campaign of 2017, which delivered the largest increase in the Labour vote since 1945. I will miss his enthusiasm and humour and wish him all the very best in future."

Tributes also came from other Labour MPs.