Jon Lansman, the Labour Party activist and founder of Momentum, has announced he will apply for the role of the party’s general secretary.
Mr Lansman, 60, announced his decision via Twitter earlier today after heavy speculation that he would apply for the position, which has the responsibility for overseeing the finances of the party.
He wrote: “After being approached by a number of friends and colleagues, I’ve decided to apply for the role of general secretary of the Labour Party.
“In 2015, Jeremy [Corbyn, the party leader] campaigned and won backing for a new kind of politics, for sweeping away the old machine politics.
“This means building a broad, pluralist Labour Party that encourages open, transparent and inclusive application processes for positions such as general secretary. I am applying to open up the contest and ensure we have a wide range of candidates.
“If chosen as Labour’s next general secretary, I will stay tuned to the desires of our members and trade union affiliates, work hard to strengthen Labour’s trade union link and use my decades of experience to make sure Labour really can deliver for the many, not the few.”
Iain McNicol, who has been Labour’s general secretary since 2011, resigned from the position last week to “pursue new projects”.
Mr McNicol, a moderate, is a popular figure in the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), and was seen as supportive of attempts to eradicate antisemitism in the party.
If successful, Mr Lansman – seen by some as Labour’s most influential Jewish figure – will become the party’s second Jewish general secretary, after Lord Triesman, who held the role for two years from 2001.
Jennie Formby, the regional secretary for union Unite in the South East, and Lisa Johnston, the political director of the GMB trades union, are the two other candidates in the running.
The contest will be seen as a battle between Mr Lansman, who believes the party should be transformed into a member-led movement, and the trade unions’ interests in maintaining central control.