Instead, at least in the short term, her job will be covered by existing
staff, including chief party spokesman Dave Hill and campaigns strategy
co-ordinator Karen Buck. However, following Buck’s selection as a
prospective parliamentary candidate, she herself is likely to have to go
part-time before the next general election.
Johnson resigned on Monday after less than one year in the job, during
which there have been persistent rumours of a rift between herself and
the party’s chief spin doctors Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell.
Johnson will remain in her post for a few weeks, and is currently
discussing job possibilities in commercial television. A return to the
BBC - where she was Westminster news editor for two years - is, however,
A TV news veteran of 16 years, Johnson said she had found it hard to
make the transition from being an ‘observer, questioning everything’ to
being a ‘participant’ in political life. She said she had ‘no regrets’
about taking the job. ‘It’s been a year where I’ve learned an awful
lot....that will help me in anything I do in the future,’ she said. ‘I
have made mistakes, but that’s different.’
According to Labour sources, Johnson’s contempt for ‘spin doctoring’
landed her in hot water during the party’s annual conference last
October, when she was reported to have objected to Campbell’s heavy-
handed attempt to get BBC news to lead with Blair’s speech.