Carl Shoben, a former Downing Street spin doctor, is to be appointed Labour’s new Director of Strategy, according to party insiders.
The appointment of Tony Blair’s one-time special adviser is expected to be announced in the coming days. In his new role at the heart of Jeremy Corbyn’s team he will report to Seumas Milne, the Labour leader’s closest aide.
A protege of Peter Mandelson, Shoben cut his political teeth helping to run the widely praised Media Monitoring Unit during the 1997 election campaign. One former colleague says he was regarded as a genial and competent Millbank operative.
Once tipped for stardom within New Labour, he was part of Alastair Campbell’s No 10 communications operation in the run up to the Iraq war. He left front line politics in 2003 and has since been working for the NHS. His new role will include responsibility for the Labour party’s polling operations, message development and long term planning.