Johnson appoints Yorkshire-based campaign team to lead national campaign
Alan Johnson MP is preparing his bid to be elected deputy leader of the Labour Party by appointing a team to focus on the campaign outside of Westminster. Leading Johnson’s campaign team in parliament is Home Office minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe.
Johnson’s campaign team will be based in Leeds and he has appointed Dave Kennedy, who was until recently interim chief executive of Bradford Council, to direct campaign operations and co-ordinate activity. Also joining the campaign team are Margaret Prosser (chair of the Women and Work Commission), Stuart Bruce (public relations consultant), Jamie Hanley (trade union lawyer and member of Labour’s National Policy Forum) and Mick Swales (head of Gerry Sutcliffe’s constituency office).
Johnson’s choice of a regional campaign headquarters contrasts with the other candidates who have all appointed Westminster-based teams.
"Alan Johnson has the experience, background and passion to help lead Labour to a fourth election victory. He knows that it is essential that we listen to what local party and trade union members are saying and we can do this better outside the Westminster village," explained Gerry Sutcliffe MP.
Dave Kennedy, who has extensive experience of working on regeneration, anti-poverty strategies and equal rights, said: "I agreed to lead Alan’s campaign team because he is the person best placed to work with the leader to help renew Labour and deliver a fourth election victory. All the candidates recognise the need to forge a new relationship between the grassroots and the leadership, but Alan’s background and experience mean he is the best placed to actually achieve this by acting as a link between party members, trade unions and the new leader."
Baroness Margaret Prosser has joined the campaign to help co-ordinate with trade unions and other affiliated organisations. Baroness Prosser has held several senior posts within the Labour and trade union movement including deputy general secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union, president of the TUC and national treasurer of the Labour Party.
"Alan understands how important it is that the Labour Party maintains and strengthens its trade union link, but in a way that takes us forward into the 21st century," said Baroness Prosser.
Communications director is Stuart Bruce, a Leeds-based public relations consultant, who will lead Johnson’s media and internet communications campaign. Bruce is well-known as a traditional and internet PR specialist and will be responsible for developing a series of innovative new communications tools for Johnson to listen to members and engage in a conversation with Labour Party and trade union members.
"I know and have worked with several ministers and am impressed with Alan’s breadth of ministerial experience and most importantly experience of working hard in the real world as a postman and trade union leader before entering Westminster," said Stuart Bruce. "Alan’s campaign is an excellent opportunity to explore new ways of listening to voters and having a real conversation with them. We want to experiment and Alan wants to use his deputy leadership bid as a way of testing new ways of engaging with people that will benefit the Labour Party as a whole."
Leeds-based trade union lawyer Jamie Hanley is the campaign’s political director responsible for listening to and creating a conversation with grassroots party members and trade union members. Hanley is a constituency member of Labour’s National Policy Forum and sits on Labour’s Education and Skills Policy Commission where he works closely with Alan Johnson.
Jamie says: "I have had the privilege of working with a number of senior ministers at close quarters. I have no doubt that Alan Johnson is the one to take on the crucial role of our party's deputy leadership. He has a breadth of ministerial experience, the energy and a caring and compassionate approach that will re-energise our party in readiness for a fourth term of government."
Mick Swales is the campaign’s operations director responsible for coordination and liaison between the parliamentary, national and various regional campaign teams. Swales is the head of Gerry Sutcliffe’s constituency office in Bradford and previously worked for Bradford District Labour Party. Mick brings with him many years of experience of grassroots campaigning for the party.
Mick Swales said: "I’m proud to be backing Alan Johnson. He is the best candidate with all of the necessary ideas, skills and experience needed to be deputy leader. He listens to ordinary party members and trade unionists like me, and I know he’ll make sure that party renewal and local campaigning are his top priorities."
All members of the Alan Johnson for Deputy Leader Campaign are working in a personal capacity and are not working representing their employers.
The campaign website is at www.johnson4deputy.org
For further media information please contact:
Stuart Bruce at BMA PR
Leeds 0113 282 5321 London 020 7870 5322 Mobile 07852 135456
Dave Kennedy was until recently the interim chief executive of Bradford council. Before taking up the chief executive’s post Dave held several senior positions within the authority and he has extensive experience of working on regeneration, anti-poverty strategies and equal rights. Dave helped Bradford to become the only local authority in The Sunday Times’ Top 20 Best Big Companies to Work For 2006.
Stuart Bruce is a founder and partner of BMA PR. Before starting his own business in 1998 he was responsible for the UK public relations and public affairs for Grant Thornton, one of the world's largest accountants. He has worked across a wide range of sectors including technology, law, accountancy, public sector and politics. Between 1999 and 2006 he was an elected member of Leeds City Council where he held a number of responsibilities including lead member for corporate communications and customer services. Stuart is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and holds a postgraduate qualification in communications, advertising and marketing. He is the winner of two PR Week awards including 'Best Healthcare Campaign' for his work on behalf of a group of solicitors and trade unions fighting to win compensation for miners suffering from vibration white finger.
Baroness Margaret Prosser has held several senior posts within the Labour and trade union movement, including deputy general secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union, president of the TUC and national treasurer of the Labour Party. She is currently chair of the Women and Work Commission, a member of the Low Pay Commission and a non-executive director of Royal Mail and the Trade Union Funds Managers. Margaret became a Baroness and took up her seat in the House of Lords on July 11, 2004.
Jamie Hanley is a partner in Leeds-based solicitors Morrish & Co. He works exclusively on behalf of trade unions and their members. He is totally committed to representing accident victims and the interests of working people, fighting for justice on their behalf and standing up against insurance companies and the powerful insurance lobby. He sits on the National Advisory Council of Unions 21, Labour’s National Policy Forum, and works closely with Alan Johnson as a member of Labour’s Education and Skills Policy Commission.
Mick Swales is the head of Gerry Sutcliffe’s constituency office in Bradford and previously worked for Bradford District Labour Party. Mick brings with him many years of experience of grassroots campaigning for the Labour Party.
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