Eagle lands top New Labour strategists

Multiple sources have told WriteYou that Labour leadership contender Angela Eagle has recruited a specialist campaign agency, BBM Campaigns, as momentum builds towards an open challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Following WriteYou INSIGHT’s revelation that Eagle had been meeting regularly with former spin doctor Lord Peter Mandelson, sources have told us that the leadership hopeful has once again turned to New Labour strategists for help. The consultancy, BBM Campaigns, was founded by two architects of the New Labour revival, bringing with them experience working for former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Alan Barnard and John Braggins, the co-founders of BBM, are both highly respected political strategists with an impressive record of delivering successful campaigns for the Labour Party. In 2015 the pair produced a report, Listening to Labour’s Lost Voters, in which they warned that the Labour Party was on a path “to oblivion” by failing to appeal to a sufficient proportion of their core vote. Baroness Margaret McDonagh, the former General Secretary of the Labour Party, was one of the original directors. 

Barnard, once Director of Campaigns and Elections under Blair, continues to advise some of the Government’s top civil servants on communications and campaign strategy. Braggins brings an unparalleled knowledge of the internal workings of the Labour Party, having directed field operations during the 1997 and 2001 election victories. There can be little question, then, that Angela Eagle has recruited proven winners as she builds her campaign team.

In a week of such relentless political upheaval, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the ongoing Labour leadership battle has calmed. Yet sources inside the Labour Party suggest that a challenge remains imminent, with both Eagle and bookies’ favourite, former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith, rallying support.

Smith’s emergence as frontrunner to replace Corbyn will come as a surprise to some. But, an impressive orator with proven left-wing credentials, it could be decided that Smith is best placed to win over some of Corbyn’s less firm support.

NOTE: WriteYou is a non-partisan platform and our Insight service reports behind the scenes news particularly around campaign matters. We do not take sides either way and just report the news. BBM and Angela Eagle are actively encouraged to contribute their own content to WriteYou. 

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