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Seumas Milne appointed Labour head of communications

Seumas Milne has been appointed Labour's Executvie Director of Strategy and Communications Credit: Twitter

Guardian columnist Seumas Milne has been appointed Labour’s head of communications.

Milne, a former comment editor for the newspaper will take up the role at the end of the month. He is known for his left-wing views and has authored books on the miners' strike, global politics and economic policy.

In his columns, Milne has described Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign as "a democratic explosion unprecedented in British political history."

Labour's statement announcing his appointment says Milne will be "on leave" from the Guardian whilst he takes up the position.


Lord Warner: Corbyn policies 'unacceptable' to public

Former Labour minister Lord Warner has told ITV News he resigned the whip because he does not believe Jeremy Corbyn can return the party to power.

Lord Warner, who was a health minister in Tony Blair's government, announced he would become a crossbench peer after telling the new leader Labour was no longer a "credible party of government in-waiting".

Speaking the following day, he said Corbyn's policies on foreign affairs, immigration and the economy "are simply not going to be acceptable to the British people".

"The British people spoke on 7 May. They actually left the Labour party in droves to vote for four other parties," he said - referring to the Conservatives, Ukip, Greens and the SNP.

"Corbyn is not going to bring them back in the numbers required," Lord Warner added, claiming that it needed to return to the centre left and avoid "shambles" like that seen over its recent change of stance on George Osborne's fiscal charter.

Corbyn: I'm not upset by dissenters, I used to be one

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking to ITV West said that he was "not in the least" upset about 20 dissenters in his party that abstained from the fiscal charter vote.

I've been a dissenter myself in the past. I will accommodate that, I will talk to them about it and I hope they will understand the economic direction we want Labour to go in.

– Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn

Asked whether he, like his shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, was embarrassed by the u-turn on the economic policy, he said he was "sorry that it happened the way it did" but insisted that Labour now has a clear position.

'It's best to be honest,' says shadow Chancellor

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said it was "best to be honest" about changing his mind over the government's fiscal charter.

Speaking after the vote, which saw the Charter for Budget Responsibility passed by a majority of 62, he said that Conservatives showed "derision" and "arrogance" during the debate

McDonnell admitted during the debates that his u-turn over the policy, which had sparked disunity within his party, had been "embarrassing".


Vote was 'elephant trap' for Labour, says abstainer

One of the 20 Labour MPs who abstained in the fiscal charter vote said that he went against the party line because the policy was a "gimmick"

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, said that the Charter for Budget Responsibility, which passed through parliament with 320 votes to 258, was an "elephant trap" for the Labour party.

We walked into it (the elephant trap) last week and then we walked out of it over the weekend and then we walked back into it today because the shadow Chancellor changed his position.

– Mike Gapes

Fiscal charter: A political gimmick and test for Labour

It was both a political gimmick and a test for Labour's new leadership.

The government's fiscal charter was voted through tonight meaning that there will now be a legal duty on future governments to always spend less than they earn.

But the man behind the 'political theatre', George Osborne made much out of the u-turn that his shadow counterpart made in the weeks running up to the vote.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Labour abstainers of fiscal votes total 20

A total of 20 Labour MPs rebelled against the party whip and abstained from the fiscal charter vote.

Abstainers included former shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie, Blairite and leadership candidate who lost out to Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall.

Former shadow Culture minister Margaret Hodge and former shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt also abstained.

The full list of Labour MPs that abstained are:

  • Fiona Mactaggart
  • Rushanara Ali
  • Ian Austin
  • Ben Bradshaw
  • Adrian Bailey
  • Shabana Mahmood
  • Ann Coffey
  • Simon Danczuk
  • Jamie Reed
  • Chris Evans
  • Graham Stringer
  • Frank Field
  • Gisela Stuart
  • Mike Gapes
  • Margaret Hodge
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Graham Jones
  • Helen Jones
  • Liz Kendall
  • Chris Leslie
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