John Cryer blasts Jennie Formby over removal of Dan Simpson as PLP Secretary

Full text of email sent to Labour MPs from PLP Chair John Cryer.

Full text of email sent to Labour MPs from PLP Chair John Cryer.

From: CRYER, John
Sent: Friday, April 6, 2018 1:05 pm
Subject: Statement from PLP Chair John Cryer
To: CRYER, John

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you following yesterday’s decision by Jennie Formby, the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, to disallow Dan Simpson from working his notice period as the PLP Secretary and Director of Political Services, and force him into a period of ‘gardening leave’, rather than remaining in the service of the PLP until the summer as had been previously agreed.

Since this was communicated to Dan and to myself, I have made it absolutely clear to Jennie that to use her first day in the job to effectively remove our Secretary with immediate effect shows a worrying set of priorities.

Our Secretary has always enjoyed the confidence of the PLP, a confidence that has been necessary to carry out the demands of the role. This confidence has been derived from the fact that the PLP have been instrumental in their appointment. We, through the Chair, have always chosen who we trust to conduct affairs on our behalf. It is deeply troubling that we have not been afforded that right on this occasion.

I can inform you that Jennie has asked Ben Foley, who currently manages Jeremy’s relationship with the PLP, to act as Interim Secretary to fill the role until Sarah Mulholland returns from maternity leave during the summer recess. While I am deeply disappointed that no interview or due process has taken place, I know that Ben will work hard for the short period up until the summer recess to manage the support that is provided to our Frontbench. The Parliamentary Committee will, of course, continue to directly manage the business of the PLP and delegate the administration of our affairs as is appropriate.

Myself, and colleagues from the Parliamentary Committee, wish to thank Dan for his tremendous record in the party – over ten years of outstanding service. I have asked him to attend our first meeting back after recess so that we can thank him personally. I hope you will be able to attend to show your support. The new General Secretary will also be in attendance.

I am very happy to discuss this in more detail with colleagues – you can contact me anytime.

With best wishes,


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