Labour chiefs have hired a businessman with no professional elections experience to manage its key West Midlands battleground.
Fadel Takrouri will earn a salary of over £58,000 as the party’s new regional director for the West Midlands, but his only election experience appears to be a 2003 run for a safe council seat in North Warwickshire.
He is also said to have had ambitions to become an MP, making unsuccessful attempts to be selected as Labour’s candidate in Stoke, Walsall and Bradford.
Takrouri is known to local MPs through his work chairing the British Arab Federation, a West Midlands group that aims to promote the region’s Arab communities. In a sign of Takrouri’s far-left connections, the group was addressed by Momentum chief Jon Lansman in January.
Further details of Takrouri’s political views are now hard to come by, as the British Arab Federation website was taken down ahead of his appointment, along with his personal website and Twitter profile, presumably to ensure that no potentially embarrassing details can come to light.
Due to its high concentration of marginal seats, Labour has regarded the West Midlands as a key election battleground since the 1990s and dedicated experienced staff to the region. The party is understood to be advertising a role as Takrouri’s deputy in the coming days, offering an opportunity to ensure he is supported by an experienced election campaigner.