The Labour Party National Executive Committee has elected David Evans as the party’s new general secretary.
The move has been welcomed by Labour leader Keir Starmer, who said that the appointment would “restore trust and build a team that can win the next election”.
David Evans defeated trade unionist – favoured by the left of the party – Byron Taylor, with Evans’ appointment solidifying Starmer’s hold over the party and the de-Corbynisation aimed at returning the party to an electable government in waiting.
Evans replaces outgoing general secretary Jennie Formby, a Corbyn supporter, who announced her intention to depart shortly after Starmer’s ascension to the Labour Party leadership.
David Evans had served as an assistant general secretary during the New Labour era and his appointment following an allegedly close-run contest signals a further sign that the party are abandoning the Corbyn project in favour of a move towards the centre-ground, in the face of a floundering Conservative government.
Speaking after his appointment, Evans said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed general secretary of the Labour Party […] We face a defining period in the history of our great party, with a global pandemic, an imminent recession and a mountain to climb to win the next election. Through the strength of our movement, I know we can rise to this challenge”.
Starmer welcomed the appointment of Evans: “I want to congratulate David on his appointment as general secretary. He brings a wealth of experience to this crucial role and a clear understanding of the scale of the task ahead of us. I look forward to working with David to build a team that can help us restore trust with the British people and build a team that can win the next election.”
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner also congratulated Evans: “David came through a very experienced and talented field of candidates to become our general secretary. Commiserations to all the other candidates. I look forward to working with David to unite the party and win.”
Congratulations to David Evans, Labour’s new General Secretary. David came through a very experienced and talented field of candidates to become our General Secretary. Commiserations to all the other candidates. I look forward to working with David to Unite the party and win ? pic.twitter.com/ZeBwwQuyXC
— ? Angela Rayner ? (@AngelaRayner) May 26, 2020
David Evans defeated former general secretary of the Co-operative Party between Karin Christiansen, former Labour executive director of policy and research Andrew Fisher, former West Midlands MEP Neena Gil and president of the National Education Union, Amanda Martin.