Corbyn ally Jennie Formby resigns as Labour’s general secretary

PUBLISHED: 12:31 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:09 04 May 2020

Jeremy Corbyn is joined by Jennie Formby, general secretary of the Labour Party, at a party conference. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA.

Jeremy Corbyn is joined by Jennie Formby, general secretary of the Labour Party, at a party conference. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Jennie Formby, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has stood down as Labour’s general secretary.

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Formby said she applied for the role two years ago “to support Jeremy Corbyn” and said with a new leader in place “it is the right time to step down”.

“When I applied for the role of general secretary in 2018 it was because I wanted to support Jeremy Corbyn, who inspired so many people to get involved in politics with his message of hope, equality and peace,” she said in a statement.

“It has been a huge privilege to be general secretary of the largest political party in Europe for the last two years, but now we have a new leadership team it is the right time to step down.

“I would like to thank Jeremy, our members and my staff colleagues who have given me so much support during what has been a very challenging period, in particular when I was suffering from ill health.”


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Sir Keir thanked Formby for “the personal and professional efforts she has made in advancing the cause she has fought all her life for”.

“Jennie has led our party’s organisation with commitment and energy through a period of political upheaval, including a snap general election last year. I wish her the very best for the future,” he added.

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The resignation comes as Labour investigates the leaking of a controversial dossier on anti-Semitism, which blamed “factional opposition” towards Corbyn and hindered efforts to tackle the crisis.

Labour has been forced to defend its data protection handling and work with the Information Commissioner’s Office over the leak, with legal challenges threatened by those named in the report.

An Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation into the party’s anti-Semitism problem was also set to conclude in the coming weeks.

Corbyn paid tribute to Formby as a “great friend and comrade” and said he looks forward to continuing to campaign with her in the years ahead.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner said Formby had been “a great servant of our movement for many years and blazed a trail as one of our highest achieving women”.

“She goes with our thanks and gratitude, and I’ve no doubt she will stand squarely behind us as we continue to fight for social justice and the Labour government our country so desperately needs,” Rayner added.

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