From last week’s mini Labour special (do read Raf’s piece if you haven’t already), here’s my guide to who’s who on Team Miliband.
Communications and Strategy
Senior advisor (communications and strategy)
The pugnacious former Times journalist was appointed as Ed Miliband’s head of strategy in December 2010 and swiftly improved Labour’s messaging. Despite repeated attacks on him by the Conservatives, he has managed to avoid becoming the story.
Director of communications
Described by Labour figures as the “good cop” to “bad cop” Baldwin, the former Daily Mirror political editor manages Miliband’s day-to-day relations with the media. A lobby journalist for 13 years before joining the Labour team, Roberts is adept at charming his former peers.
Chief of staff
Nicknamed “the vicar” by Miliband’s team in reference to his time as head of public affairs for Rowan Williams when he was archbishop of Canterbury, Livesey, a devout Catholic, was named as the Labour leader’s chief of staff in December 2011. He has been credited with bringing “a sense of order and calmness” to Miliband’s office.
The quietly effective Yearley became head of Miliband’s political office after serving on his leadership campaign in 2010. She was formerly deputy director and head of campaigns for the Parliamentary Labour Party and a member of Gordon Brown’s political staff.
Director of strategy and planning
One of the earliest supporters of Miliband for the Labour leadership, Beales served as head of policy on his campaign and is now responsible for strategy and planning. He previously worked as a special adviser to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and was notable for his championing of foundation hospitals. In 2011, he married Katie Myler, Miliband’s former media adviser and the daughter of former News of the World editor Colin Myler.
Director of policy and rebuttal
Highly regarded in Westminster, Bell is responsible for establishing a rapid rebuttal unit to compare with the feared Labour machine of the 1990s. A former special adviser to Alistair Darling during Darling’s time as chancellor, he previously served as Miliband’s chief economic adviser.
Labour’s new attack-dog-in-chief, the Barnsley East MP was appointed vice-chair with responsibility for communications strategy in November 2012. He previously served as Brown’s spokesman and as parliamentary private secretary to Miliband, and is seen as one of the most impressive of the 2010 intake.
Parliamentary private secretary
The Labour leader’s new PPS is an expert on welfare policy and was crucial in preparing the ground for his recent speech on the subject. Buck, who saw off Conservative “A-List” candidate Joanne Cash in Westminster North at the 2010 election, made her name as a local councillor in Westminster in the late 1980s when she helped expose the “homes for votes” scandal.
Elections and Campaigning
Deputy chair and campaign co-ordinator
The scourge of News Corporation was handed responsibility for elections and campaigns in Miliband’s 2011 reshuffle and awarded the newly created position of deputy chairman of the party. A technophile and the first MP to start a blog, he is adept at using Twitter to rebut hostile media stories and draw attention to Tory woes.
The veteran Chicago community organiser was brought in by Miliband to conduct a “year zero” review of Labour’s campaigns and structures. While his more radical proposals, such as open primaries, have been rejected, the party has set aside funding for him to train 200 organisers for the next election.
The man who ran Barack Obama’s digital rapid response unit during last year’s presidential election has been hired by Labour to overhaul its online strategy.
Unite general secretary
As the leader of the country’s biggest trade union and Labour’s largest donor, McCluskey is one of the most powerful – and divisive – figures in the party. Although he warns Miliband that he faces defeat if he adopts an “austerity-lite” programme, he aims to avoid being typecast as a maverick and recently praised the Labour leader’s speech on welfare.
Party donor and chair of nations and regions
The former property trader, worth an estimated £100m, has donated more than £600,000 to Labour since 2011 and is thought to have promised the party up to £1.5m. In September 2012, Miliband handed him responsibility for increasing “supporter engagement” and broadening Labour’s donor base.
Trade union liaison manager
Well-known from his time as chief of staff to Ken Livingstone at City Hall, Fletcher returned to the Labour fold in January to manage relations between Miliband and the unions. The appointment was portrayed by the Conservatives as a “major lurch to the left” but Fletcher is respected across the party for his intellect and campaigning nous.
Policy and Ideas
Policy review co-ordinator
The Dagenham MP supported David Miliband for the leadership rather than his brother, but accepted Ed Miliband’s invitation to lead the party’s policy review after being impressed by his openness to new ideas. A relentless critic of the party’s managerialist tendencies, Cruddas aims to craft an overarching vision of “the good society”.
Labour peer and shadow minister without portfolio
The former Oxford don acts as Miliband’s intellectual outrider and argues that the failures of neoliberalism have created the conditions for a Thatcher-style transformation. Previously a foreign policy adviser to Gordon Brown, he was he was ennobled by Labour in November 2010 and sits in the shadow cabinet as minister without portfolio.
Labour peer and Blue Labour founder
Rumours of the iconoclastic peer’s demise have been much exaggerated. Despite falling out with Miliband after writing in the New Statesman that he seemed to have “no strategy, no narrative and little energy”, the Blue Labour architect remains a major influence on policy and is particularly close to Cruddas.
Professor of political science, Yale University
Miliband has embraced the Yale don’s concept of “predistribution” – seeking a more equal distribution of economic power and rewards before taxes are collected and benefits paid out – in an attempt to show how Labour would govern at a time of austerity.
Professor of government, Harvard University
Miliband selected the American philosopher’s What Money Can’t Buy: the Moral Limits of Markets as his favourite book of 2012 and invited him to address last year’s Labour conference. Sandel’s call for a revived public realm is an important influence on the “responsible capitalism” agenda.
A friend of Miliband’s since the pair read PPE together at Oxford University, Stears recently became a full-time adviser to the Labour leader after crafting his “one nation” conference speech. He was an early champion of “Blue Labour”, praising its “spirit of mutual responsibility”.
The Think Tankers
Head of the No 10 Policy Unit under Gordon Brown, Pearce returned to IPPR, Labour’s think tank of choice, as director in 2010. His call for the party to switch spending from universal benefits to universal services and from housing benefit to building houses was an important influence on Miliband’s recent speech on welfare.
Resolution Foundation chief executive
Formerly deputy chief of staff in No 10 under Brown, Kelly leads the Resolution Foundation, the organisation that has done much of the heavy lifting on living standards and “the squeezed middle”. He was one of those quick to highlight the political appeal of reintroducing a 10p tax band, now adopted as Labour policy.
Fabian Society general secretary
Since 2011, when he replaced Sunder Katwala as the leader of the Labour-affiliated society, Harrop has led the debate on the party’s post-2015 fiscal stance, warning Miliband not to sign up to George Osborne’s spending plans. The group’s Commission on Future Spending Choices will report shortly.