The Labour party’s General Secretary resigns

She was Labour's General Secretary from 2018-2020. Source: Socialist Appeal (via Wikimedia Commons)

By Hallum Cowell | Deputy Editor

Jennie Formby has stepped down as general secretary of the Labour party. Mrs Formby who was a close ally of former leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was the “right time” for a new person to take the job after Keir Starmer became Labour’s new leader just over a month ago.

Within the Labour party, the General Secretary is responsible for running the Party outside of parliament. Including organisational, constitutional and policy committees within the Party structure.

In a statement Mrs Formby said “When I applied for the role of General Secretary in 2018 it was because I wanted to support Jeremy Corbyn” and that “Now we have a new leadership team it is the right time to step down”.

The former General Secretary had also been at the centre of an argument within the Labour Party following the leak of an internal review into the party’s handling of anti-Semitism among members.

Jennie Formby was treated for breast cancer in 2019 and said that she had been privileged to serve the party during a “very challenging period”.

Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer thanked Mrs Formby for helping Labour through “political upheaval” with deputy leader Angela Rayner adding that she had “blazed a trail” for women in the Labour party.

Not all were so positive; Margaret Hodge, a critic of Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership, tweeted that Formby’s resignation was “another opportunity to draw a line under the past four years”.

Her resignation represents a general shift in power within the Labour party, as Jeremy Corbyn’s departure as leader following the 2019 general election has seen many of his allies also resign prominent positions.

The BBC’s political correspondent Iain Watson pointed to the fact that Keir Starmer’s allies control Labour’s ruling body implying that Starmer can “get whoever he wants” to be the next general secretary. 

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