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Coffee House Steerpike

Jeremy Corbyn’s Stop the War comrade enters the fray

14 May 2017

10:28 PM

14 May 2017

10:28 PM

After a tricky week for Jeremy Corbyn and his team, the party hopes to refocus its efforts on Labour’s official manifesto launch this week. But Mr S fears a new hire to Corbyn’s election team could distract from the message.

Mr S understands Unite chief of staff Andrew Murray is being drafted in to help with the final stages of Labour’s general election campaign. When Steerpike contacted Corbyn’s spokesman on Friday about the move, they poured cold water on the claims, but the Huffington Post has since cited Labour sources confirming that he will be taking on a central role.

Alas, Mr S is told the decision by John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn to bring Murray — a former communist — into the fold has gone down like a cup of cold sick with some of Labour’s top command, who see it as a snub to Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s director of communications.

Meanwhile, for readers unfamiliar with the charming communist, Murray is a former chair of the Stop the War Coalition (which has praised the ‘internationalism and solidarity’ of Isis), and previously expressed solidarity with North Korea.

‘It’s like being in the middle of a Trump election. Andrew Murray is to Corbyn, what Steve Bannon is to Trump,’ a Labour source explains.

Viva la revolución!

Update: Corbyn says Murray is an upstanding member of the Labour community — ‘he is a person of enormous abilities and professionalism’.

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