NEWS: Labour decides not to recruit new head of communications

By OUR PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 26 January 1996 12:00AM

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.

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

planning group.



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 campaignlive.co.uk

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