Yesterday the Mail on Sunday ran a story about an unnamed Starmer aide briefing against a Labour MP:
“a senior aide to Sir Keir Starmer said ‘it would be nice’ if Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield ‘spent a bit more time’ in her constituency, rather than ‘hanging out with JK Rowling”
JK Rowling spotted the Mail on Sunday story and mocked the advisor:
“Fight that FOMO, bro.”
In response, Rosie Duffield tweeted:
“Never had the pleasure of meeting this unelected Head Of Comms person. But for the record, while he was overheard loudly opining on my whereabouts and choice of friends, I was in my constituency meeting with members of Canterbury’s Hazara community. Really hope he’s OK with that”
Labour’s “Head of Comms person” is Matthew Doyle, a veteran Labour spin doctor from the New Labour Blair era. It is his job to hone the attack on the Tories, which is why it is all the more surprising that he would be briefing against a Labour MP. Obviously if it were true that Starmer’s top spin doctor is briefing against a Labour MP it would not be a good look. We put Rosie Duffield’s allegation to Labour’s press office this morning:
A rare categoric, on-the-record denial.
Unfortunately it is also untrue – listen to Matthew Doyle briefing against Rosie Duffield below:
Now you might think that the Leader of the Labour Party’s top attack dog briefing against one of their own MPs – in the same breath as saying that the MP had been in to see the leader about how she was being treated by the party – might be newsworthy. When Britain’s top-selling writer and campaigner for women’s rights JK Rowling, who incidentally has given over a million pounds to the Labour Party, is also being criticised you would think political editors would be scrambling to cover the story. You would think this morning’s papers would be following it up with feral glee. You would be wrong, there was no follow up of the story this morning, like JK Rowling’s infamous villain Voldemort it seems Doyle is he-who-must-not-be-named. Surely the Lobby’s political editors wouldn’t be craven cowards afraid of being cursed by Labour’s wielder of the dark arts?