The Labour Party may fight the next general election without a
communications supremo following the resignation this week of Joy
Johnson, its director of campaigns, elections and media.
In a surprise move, senior Labour sources said on Wednesday that the
party may split Johnson’s role among existing staff rather than seek a
replacement so close to a possible election.
They explained that the party’s structure had already been streamlined
into eight general election taskforces. These report to Peter Mandelson
MP, one of Tony Blair’s closest allies, who chairs a general election
The move reflects Blair’s determination to put politicians rather than
party officials like Johnson in charge of Labour’s election campaign.
Johnson was in charge of the party’s advertising and party political
broadcasts, and head of its press office.
While politicians will take charge of the party’s strategy, Johnson’s
press office role may be given to David Hill, Labour’s chief media
spokesman and a former director of communications.
Although Johnson is quitting Labour after less than a year to resume a
career in broadcasting, her departure was also sparked by personality
clashes with some of Blair’s inner circle, from which her friends say
she was ‘frozen out’.
This article was first published on Campaign