Seumas Milne not quitting Jeremy Corbyn's office, Labour insist

Posted On: 
28th September 2016

Seumas Milne is not standing down as Jeremy Corbyn's closest adviser, Labour have insisted.

Seumas MIlne has rarely been far from controversy during his time working for Jeremy Corbyn
Credit: 
PA Images

Several senior party figures had claimed that the controversial spin doctor was on the verge of quitting - and could even be gone by the end of this week.

But a Labour source said the speculation was "untrue" and added: "There's no plans for him to leave as far as I'm aware. It's business as usual."

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Mr Milne took a "leave of absence" from The Guardian, where he was a columnist and associate editor, to become Labour's head of communications and strategy.

A Labour spokesman said: "We don't comment on staffing matters."

The speculation came just days after Mr Milne found himself at the centre of controversy after he changed Shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis' speech to Labour's annual conference as he waited on stage to deliver it.

A key section pledging not to re-visit Labour's existing policy supporting Trident renewal was removed from the autocue in the conference hall. PoliticsHome revealed that a furious Mr Lewis punched a wall in frustration after delivering the speech.

Mr Milne has often found himself at the centre of controversy during his time working for Mr Corbyn.

Labour staff were left furious after he claimed in a Vice News documentary that a mole in the leader's office was leaking information to the Conservatives.

Iain McNicol, the party's general secretary, wrote to party workers pledging to meet with their union representatives in a bid to address their "upset" at the allegations, which were never proven.

Speculation has been mounting for weeks that Mr Milne was returning to The Guardian.

Surprisingly, he was not involved in any of the media briefing ahead of Mr Corbyn's keynote speech to the Labour conference this afternoon - a task normally carried out by the leader's most senior press spokesman.

The party is already searching for a replacement for Kevin Slocombe, Mr Corbyn's former head of media who left his post in the summer to work for Bristol mayor Marvin Rees.