| Jennie Formby |
(trade unionist, politician)
Supporting the "inspiring Jeremy Corbyn"
|Born||Jennifer Louise Sandle|
12 April 1960
General Secretary of the Labour Party 2018-2020
Jennie Formby, formerly Unite the Union's South East Regional Secretary and vice Chair of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee (NEC), was appointed General Secretary of the Labour Party on 20 March 2018.
On 4 May 2020, Jennie Formby announced she is standing down as Labour's General Secretary:
"When I applied for the role in 2018 it was because I wanted to support Jeremy Corbyn, who inspired so many people to get involved in politics with his message of hope, equality and peace. Now we have a new leadership team it is the right time to step down."
A timetable to choose her successor will be decided at the next NEC meeting.
Baroness Formby of Southside?
According to the Huffington Post: "Formby is not expected to be recommended for a peerage, as several previous general secretaries have been."
Well, ever since Larry Whitty (1985-94) was ennobled as Baron Whitty of Camberwell it has been the rule (with two notable exceptions) for former General Secretaries to become peers:
- Tom Sawyer (1994-98) Baron Sawyer
- Margaret McDonagh (1998-2001) Baroness McDonagh
- David Triesman (2001-03) Baron Triesman
- Ray Collins (2008-11) Baron Collins of Highbury
- Iain McNicol (2011-18) Baron McNichol of West Kilbride
Matt Carter (2004-05) and Peter Watt (2006-07) both resigned under a cloud ("cash for questions" and "donorgate").
So there is no reason why Jennie Formby shouldn't be elevated to the House of Lords: I suggest Baroness Formby of Southside (Labour HQ address).
In 2015, Jennie Formby sparked controversy when she moved a motion at the end of an NEC meeting to bar G4S from providing security for the Labour party conference because of concerns over its operations in Israel. The motion was eventually overturned following objections from NEC members pointing out Labour policy was not to boycott firms operating in Israel.
In March 2016, Ms Formby spoke out days after the appointment of Baroness Jan Royall to lead an investigation into claims of anti-Jewish conduct by some in Oxford University Labour Club, saying that Lady Royall had once taken part in a Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) delegation in 2007. Fellow NEC member Shabana Mahmood swiftly interrupted to describe Ms Formby’s remarks as “highly inappropriate”, before the chair of the meeting moved on.
In February 2018, Jennie Formby announced she was a candidate to become General Secretary of the Labour Party, shortly after the incumbent, Iain McNicol, resigned. Her main rival, Jon Lansman, the chair of Momentum, dropped out of contention on 11 March, making Formby the frontrunner.
On 20 March 2018, she was appointed to the role, effective from April 2018.
In July 2019, Tom Watson – technically if not in practice the deputy leader of the party – launched an unconscionable public attack on Labour general secretary Jennie Formby, who is battling cancer. The Labour parliamentary women who stood in public solidarity on social media with Ms Formby against Watson’s shameful conduct include:
- Diane Abbott
- Laura Smith
- Laura Pidcock
- Emma Dent Coad
- Danielle Rowley
- Rebecca Long-Bailey
- Karen Lee
- Margaret Greenwood
- Claudia Webbe
- Ann Henderson
- Andi Daisy Fox
Claudia Webbe called on Tom Watson to resign as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
Jennie Formby is the mother of Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey's child, born in 1991.
She married Freddie Formby in 2000 and the couple had two children and another son, who joined the family aged 14.
In March 2019 Jennie Formby announced that she was to undergo treatment for breast cancer.
|Document:EHRC avoids response to QC’s submission that Labour investigation breaches Equality Act||Article||3 August 2019||Jewish Voice for Labour's submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission points out that many of the worst aspects took place under the tenure of former general secretary Iain McNicol, while significant improvements have been made under his successor Jennie Formby.|
|Document:Labour & ‘anti-Semitism’: Real goal of establishment smear campaign is to deny socialists power||Article||23 April 2019||Ken Livingstone||After three years of screaming headlines, the truth about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is finally revealed: just 0.08 percent of Labour’s half-a-million members have said or tweeted something anti-Semitic|
|Document:Starmer’s Mortal Wound On The Soul Of The Labour Party||blog post||30 October 2020||Rachael Swindon||Starmer clearly believes he has now firmly established his own political identity and laid the foundations for the transformation of Labour’s electoral prospects – in the mould of Kinnock and Blair. It may be that he has simply destroyed his reputation for moral and intellectual integrity – and inflicted a mortal wound on the soul of his party.|
|Document:The shortcomings of the EHRC Report||Statement||6 November 2020||Jewish Voice for Labour||There are just 12 mentions of Jeremy Corbyn in the EHRC report, of which only two concern actions taken by him. It is reprehensible not to distinguish between actions taken by individuals supportive of Corbyn and those taken by people hostile to him – such an omission leads to the impression that all failings were Corbyn’s responsibility.|
|Document:We condemn the suspension of Jo Bird and the appointment of Lord Falconer||Article||4 March 2019||As Ken Loach said: “If it looks like a witch hunt and behaves like a witch hunt – it may well be just that. This is intolerable and must end now.”|
- ↑ "Jennie Formby: Unite political director to take up new job within union after being involved in series of controversies"
- ↑ "Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary"
- ↑ "Jennie Formby is to stand down as the Labour Party's most senior official"
- ↑ "‘Stitch-Up’ Row Erupts As Leftwingers Seize Control Of Labour General Secretary Hire"
- ↑ "Baroness Formby of Southside"
- ↑ "Fresh Row Over Labour Anti-Semitism Inquiry As Unite Official Raises Links To Labour Friends Of Israel"
- ↑ "JENNIE FORMBY FULL STATEMENT ON LABOUR GENSEC APPLICATION"
- ↑ "Unite’s Jennie Formby Declares Candidacy For Labour General Secretary"
- ↑ "Momentum chair Jon Lansman withdraws bid to become Labour general secretary"
- ↑ "Jennie Formby appointed Labour general secretary in huge boost for Jeremy Corbyn"
- ↑ "Jeremy Corbyn Plans In-House Lawyer In Anti-Semitism Crackdown On 70 Unresolved Claims Of Abuse"
- ↑ "The Labour women MPs and NEC members who showed solidarity with Jennie Formby against Watson"
- ↑ "Mother of union boss love child fixes MPs for Labour: New scandal as McCluskey gives £75,000-a-year key role to ex-mistress"
- ↑ "Corbyn Ally Jennie Formby Appointed As Labour's New General Secretary"
- ↑ "Labour party's general secretary diagnosed with breast cancer"