Corbyn gives go-ahead for pro-EU ‘Labour In For Britain’ group run by Alan Johnson
The Labour Party has begun the process of setting up a dedicated group to campaign for the UK to stay in the European Union in the forthcoming referendum.
TP has learned that a new ‘Labour In For Britain’ campaign is to be run out of the party’s headquarters in London.
Former cabinet minister Alan Johnson will be the figurehead for the Labour In For Britain campaign, taking the role of chair.
Labour will also bring in a campaign chief to run the show on the ground. The party’s executive director for elections and stakeholders Patrick Heneghan is understood to be leading the search for someone to take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the campaign.
The new group is not to be confused with the ‘Labour For Britain’ campaign set up in June by eurosceptic Labour MPs Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer and Kelvin Hopkins. The Labour For Britain group is expected to support an out vote in the referendum unless David Cameron wins major concessions from EU heads.
Labour sources told TP they expected Labour In For Britain to be up and running with key staff in place by Christmas.
The move to set up the campaign in Labour’s HQ comes a month after Jeremy Corbyn finally ended the uncertainty over Labour’s position on Europe.
In a joint statement with shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, Labour’s leader said the party would make the case for continued British membership of the EU, whatever the outcome of the renegotiation being sought by David Cameron.
A Labour spokesman confirmed that Johnson would be chair and that the party was looking to recruit someone to be head of the Labour In For Britain campaign. He said the campaign would be up and running “in due course”.