Earlier Dan Hodges reported:
On Monday a meeting was held at Labour’s soon-to-be-vacated Victoria Street headquarters to which staff were informed of the latest stage of the party’s internal reorganisation. Descriptions of the event range from “disaster”, through “multi-lane pile-up”, to “carnage”. “I’ve never in all my life seen anything like it,” said one shocked observer. “Normally people are quite restrained. But it all came pouring out”.
Patrick Wintour also wrote up the disaster in the Guardian, calling it “stormy”. Guido had the leaked names of the new Directors of the Party last Friday and this went down very badly. Now it is clear why: the Party machine are not on board with the changes. According to one source in the room, Simon Jackson, whose policy role has been filled by Torsten Henricson-Bell took the invitation to “speak frankly” very literally:
“If you think that our problems are structural or organisational then you are kidding yourselves… If you think we are somehow divorced from the politics then you are being ridiculous…”
Cue much clapping from the staff. Another disgruntled staffer pointed Guido to the words of Hilary Perrin, a party figure for some two decades, who apparently claimed that in all her time in the party she had never known morale so low.
General Secretary Iain McNicol was apparently very apologetic that the news of the new directors had leaked before the announcement. He also said that no one was being sacked, but then in David Brent style, he could not promise that there would not be redundancies. Ed’s new Chief of Staff Tim Livesy gave the staff an ungodly dressing down for leaking to Guido: “this is not transparency, this is a breach of trust… this is a test.” A test he clearly failed given that the whole thing leaked in less than 24 hours…