Former top Corbyn aide joins Richard Leonard's Scottish Labour leadership campaign
A former aide to Jeremy Corbyn has joined Richard Leonard's leadership campaign
Richard Leonard - Image credit: Richard Leonard
A former top aide to Jeremy Corbyn has joined Richard Leonard's campaign to be the new leader of Scottish Labour.
In a major coup, Simon Fletcher will help Leonard in his bid to defeat Anas Sarwar and succeed Kezia Dugdale in the top job.
Fletcher rose to prominence as chief of staff to Ken Livingstone when the left-winger was Mayor of London.
The hugely-respected official led Corbyn's campaign to become Labour leader in 2015, and rose to become the party leader's director of campaigns and planning.
However, he quit in February amid claims he had become disillusioned by the party's direction.
At the time, Corbyn said: "Simon has played a vital role in shaping the new politics and building Labour’s campaign to rebuild and transform Britain.
"I’ve know Simon for many years, we will continue to work together on the cause of social justice in Britain and I wish him well in the future.”
Leonard said: "I can confirm that Simon is joining my leadership campaign team.
“He brings a wealth of experience which will help give the campaign real organisational strength and direction. I am delighted he is joining us."
The battle to be Scottish Labour leader is significant for the UK party as the winner will claim a seat on its ruling national executive council.
The key decision-making body is currently finely-balanced between moderates and the party's left-wing, but a victory for Leonard will tip it in Corbyn's favour.
The UK will have to abide by EU fishing quotas until 2020 under the terms of the draft transition deal
Women and Equalities committee calls for ministers to look at giving new dads the option of 12 weeks off
Owners of critical infrastructure and providers of services are being urged to be prepared for Russian cyber attacks
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said “only expulsion will do” after a councillor made an anti-Muslim remark about him