Starmer’s chief of staff out as party moves to election footing

Sir Keir Starmer announced a restructuring of Labour’s operation, with chief of staff Sam White leaving his role.

11 October 2022

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour has a “huge chance” to win the next election as he reorganised the party to be ready for the contest.

His chief of staff, Sam White, is leaving as part of a merger between the Leader of the Opposition’s Office (Loto) and Labour headquarters.

The Labour leader said the restructuring had been planned “for a while” but the plans had been accelerated as support for the Conservatives crashed in the polls.

The changes will see policy and communications roles move into party HQ, reporting to general secretary David Evans.

Labour Party Conference 2021
Labour Party general secretary David Evans (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The party’s London headquarters is itself set to move imminently from the Southside building in Victoria Street in Westminster.

Sir Keir told Labour staff: “The Government’s collapse has given us a huge chance. The instability means they could fall at any time.

“Because of that we need to get on an election footing straight away.”

He told staff “this is not time for complacency or caution” and Labour must “seize the opportunity we have and show the British people we are the party that can lead our country forward”.

In a joint all-staff call with general secretary Mr Evans, Sir Keir said: “These changes to the structures of the party will move us on to that election footing.

“We’ve been planning this for a while but the scale of the Tory collapse has brought it forward.”

Beyond the departure of Mr White, who was appointed chief of staff last summer, no other jobs are at risk.

Sir Keir said Mr White’s exit was due to the changes to the scale of the Loto operation.

“Sam has played an incredible role taking our operation to the next level. Under his leadership the team has become better and stronger,” he said.

But “with the merger, running the leader’s office becomes a smaller role than Sam signed up for and we both agree, as we’re making this change, now is the right time to go”.

Mr White said: “The next phase of the campaign needs a different structure, but we part very much as friends with the intent to work together again in the future.

“You’ll find no greater champion for a Starmer government than me.”

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