Crikey, it's four and a half weeks since I last posted a blog. Was it the weather? Was it the moon? Was it a branch in my constituency labour party that must remain nameless? Was it the polls? Whatever, it was has passed. At last news about those six director level appointments at Labour Party HQ and a lot more. They were first advertised in early January here. They are due to move shortly from Victoria Street further west of Parliament to Brewer's Yard. (You couldn't make it up!).
I can reveal that some high-placed Labour Party sources see these appointments as a litmus test of Iain McNicol's grip as General Secretary. There was a three-way power struggle between Iain, his outgoing Deputy Alicia Kennedy and the Leader's officer. Iain you will recall was not Ed Miliband's candidate for the job. His election in favour of the well-oiled machine hand, Chris Lennie, followed the elevation to the peerage of m'Lord (formerly Ray) Collins.
Alicia Kennedy, de facto General Secretary under Ray Collins, whose role as Deputy General Secretary has been written out of the new structure, is appointed to a new post as special advisor to the appointed Deputy Chair Tom Watson. Chris Lennie, the other former Deputy General Secretary, will continue to assist in external relations and fundraising. Now the transfer window has closed, we must ask: is it possible that the Leader's office will be pulling the strings leaving McNicol wondering whether his move from the GMB was wise?
Update: News of skirmishes from the Leader's Office (aka Eastern Front) on Left Futures : Leader’s office oversteps mark with Labour Party HQ http://bit.ly/wQ3WEk
Update: A different take here Vive la résistance la rue Victoria! « Labour Uncut http://bit.ly/wCRLgC which reports:
In the words of one staffer on Friday, “Iain [McNicol] is basically now a glorified head of HR”.
Update: The whole debacle is reduced to an even baser level in the Telegraph: The Labour Party is tearing itself apart, and Len McCluskey is preparing a silent coup http://soc.li/guJfMZK