Senior aide to UK Labour leader to quit
Published : Sunday, 22 September, 2019 at 9:17 AM Count : 290
One of Jeremy Corbyn's senior aides, who wrote Labour's last manifesto, has announced his intention to resign.
Andrew Fisher, head of policy, will leave his post by the end of the year "to spend more time with his young family".
The Sunday Times claims Mr Fisher warned that Mr Corbyn would not win the next general election, reports BBC.
A Labour source said: "We don't comment on staffing matters."
It comes after Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson called for unity on Saturday following a move to oust him at the start of the party's annual conference.
In a statement seen by the BBC's political correspondent Iain Watson, Mr Fisher said he is "choosing to prioritise" his wife and young son.
He plans to leave by the end of the year but says he will stay on should there be an autumn general election.
Mr Fisher said he feels "immensely proud about what we have collectively achieved".
But he added: "The long hours, stresses and strains that inevitably come from working in this high pressure environment mean I haven't managed to balance my commitments to my wife and young son.
"So after four years, I'm now choosing to prioritise them. I will stay on for any autumn general election, but will be leaving by the end of the year."
Mr Fisher is said to have revealed his intention to quit last Saturday, according to a memo seen by the Sunday Times.
The newspaper reports that he criticised Mr Corbyn's team for their "blizzard of lies".
Mr Fisher's decision to quit emerged just hours after Mr Corbyn quashed a motion at his party conference on Saturday to oust his deputy, Mr Watson, by abolishing his position.
An initial attempt had been made at the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) on Friday.
Mr Corbyn later suggested the role should be reviewed instead, and his suggestion was backed by the ruling NEC.
He has since told the Sunday Mirror he would like to see the party have two deputy leaders "which reflects diversity within our society".
Mr Corbyn told the newspaper one deputy leader would be a woman.
He added: "Tom is the elected deputy leader of the party and so has an important role to play.
"I work with him and he's done very well on media reform, online gambling and exposing the way sugar has a deleterious affect on our lives."