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12 February 2016

Seumas Milne expected Guardian to endorse Jeremy Corbyn and felt “very let down“

Corbyn's director of communications, on voluntary leave from the title, was surprised by backing for Yvette Cooper. 

By Media Mole

Jeremy Corbyn’s media supremo Seumas Milne is being urged by Guardian executives to sever his ties with the paper, according to today’s Times. The Labour leader’s director of communications has been on “voluntary leave” from the title since last October, an arrangement regarded as increasingly untenable. Not only does it threaten to impinge on the Guardian’s fair and balanced reporting, it also hardly amounts to a vote of confidence by Milne in Corbyn. 

Now, your mole has learned of another tension between the two parties. As the Labour leadership contest reached its conclusion last August, Milne expected the Guardian to endorse Corbyn. But in a phone call 24 hours before declaring for Yvette Cooper, editor Kath Viner informed him that this was not the case. Milne, who agitated behind the scenes to help Viner succeed Alan Rusbridger and expected her to take the paper to the left, was said to have felt “very let down” by the move. After that slight, perhaps he feels that a chance to return to the safety of Guardian towers is the least he’s owed. 

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