Controversial: Jennie Formby.

It was curious enough that senior Labour Party staff quit their jobs on the eve of Jennie Formby’s appointment as the party’s new general secretary – more worrying still was the defection of Labour councillors to the Tories after the announcement.

What a strange time to go:

What does this say about the people concerned, if not that they never believed in Labour’s core values?

I have to ask whether those in high positions at Labour HQ were actually working against the party’s leadership, under the protection of now-departed general secretary Iain McNicol.

Here‘s the Mirror‘s list of those who departed on Monday:

Among the high-profile resignations is John Stolliday who, as the ‘Director of Governance and Legal’, was in charge of disciplinary issues.

It is understood that Neil Fleming, who had been acting London Regional Director, but has worked for the party for around 20 years, is also leaving.

Dan Simpson, who Fleming replaced, and who has been working as the Parliamentary Labour Party secretary, is also understood to be quitting his post.

It is also understood that Simon Jackson, the highly respected Director of Policy and Research is leaving the post.

While Tracey Allen and Julie Lawrence, senior staff to outgoing general secretary Iain McNicol, are also understood to be going.

(I wonder if the departure of Mr Stolliday will mean an end to the vexatious, false, malicious and opportunistic claims of anti-Semitism against me and other innocent people.)

Jennie Formby, of Unite the Union, was appointed to replace Mr McNicol as party general secretary yesterday (March 20), amid a chorus of approval:

But some took the news less enthusiastically:

What a lot of nonsense from would-be castrator-of-the-poor (and journalists) Ben Bradley. Ripe for satire:

The defections have prompted widespread derision and mockery:

And there was also the occasion piece of serious analysis:

Possibly the most authoritative word comes from archive footage of the late, great Tony Benn, who accused people who got themselves elected with the support of Labour members and then defected elsewhere of working for their own self-aggrandisement rather than the good of the many:

Are Labour MPs planning to leave the party as a result of Ms Formby’s appointment?

Lee Anderson was Gloria de Piero’s office manager, after all – and she memorably wrote an article in The Sun in 2016, calling for people to join Labour in order to vote Jeremy Corbyn out of the leadership.

Will she take the plunge? Will anybody?

These are interesting times. If Labour MPs are serious about wanting to rid the UK of Conservative government, they’ll hold their tongues and stay put. Also, quitting Labour would undoubtedly trigger vilification from members of the public.

We await new developments with interest.


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