Although Jeremy Corbyn managed to survive the Queen’s Speech relatively unscathed last week, his republican beliefs are likely to be called into question once again thanks to a new appointment to his press team.
Steerpike understands that Matt Zarb-Cousin has been chosen as the winning candidate to fill the ‘leader’s office media spokesperson’ vacancy first advertised last month. Cousin — who currently works as a consultant for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling — is an interesting choice given that he is already a familiar name in Labour circles thanks to an incident that occurred when he worked as a staffer for Andy Slaughter.
In 2012, to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne, Cousin used Twitter to share his view that the Queen had been ‘scrounging benefits off the taxpayer’ for six decades. Given that Cousin was an aide to Slaughter at the time, the comments made the news and he was eventually forced to make clear it was intended as a ‘joke’. He left Slaughter’s office that same year.
While Mr S offers Cousin his whole-hearted congratulations on hopefully finding a boss who may share his republican sense of humour, given that the original vacancy stated that the role would last ‘only’ as long as Corbyn is Labour leader — ‘or until December 31’ — how much readers can expect to hear from him is another matter entirely.
Steerpike has contacted both the Leader’s Office and Cousin for comment.