Iain Dale's 100 Most Influential People On The Left

23 September 2016, 15:30

100 On The Left

Iain Dale chooses his Top 100 Most Influential People On The Left list - and after a remarkable year for Labour, there have been some dramatic changes.

Each year for the last eight years I have convened a panel to compile a list of the Top 100 Most Influential People on the Left.

Back in 2007, Gordon Brown topped the list, but of the other 99 people included, 87 of them do not figure on the 2016 list.

This year our panel comprised of an MP, a Labour SPAD, a left of centre journalist and a left wing historian and a former Labour adviser. The most difficult thing when deciding who to include an exclude, is to define what ‘influence’ actually means. In the end it means being influential in a combination of national politics, the media, on the Labour Party and its leader.

In all, there are 29 new entries in the whole list, on top of the 45 which appeared last year. Out go Stuart Hosie, Humza Yousaf and Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh from the SNP. Ken Livingstone, Jim Kennedy, Jon Cruddas, Alan Johnson, John Mills and possibly surprisingly George Galloway are all ejected, along with former Shadow Cabinet members Chris Bryant, Seema Malhotra, Maria Eagle, John Healey, Lord Falconer and Vernon Coaker.

In come a whole host of Corbynistas like Richard Burgon, Sam Tarry, Peter Willsman, Rachel Shabi, James Meadway, Andrew Fisher, James Schneider and Karie Murphy. Seumas Milne is the highest new entry at number five.  The Greens are represented by their co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, while the SNP surprisingly only take 4 places in the whole list.

The panel also did a bit of star spotting by including newly elected MP Stephen Kinnock and the new mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees.

People always look at individuals on lists like this and sniff the political wind to find out if their heroes are on their way up and their anti-Christs are on their way down or even out. There’s little doubt that following Jeremy Corbyn’s enormous victory the left and their supporters are on the rise, while new Labour establishment figures are on the wane as figures of influence.

One of the highest risers is the Shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis (89 to 15). Sadiq Khan rises from 14 to 3 and the chair of Momentum John Lansman enters the top ten at number eight, up from 61. Emily Thornberry’s Lazarus-like rehabilitation sees her come in at number 17, while Paul Mason rises nearly fifty places to 21. Jess Phillips rises up the list, from 94 to 47.

If Jeremy Corbyn persuades a whole host of malcontents to rejoin his front bench team in the next few weeks, this list could be out of date before the ink is dry. But the lesson this year is that the left have well and truly entrenched themselves in the upper echelons of this list and the right is well and truly in retreat. It’s difficult to see that changing any time soon.

Jeremy Corbyn Name Sign

1. (-) Jeremy Corbyn
Leader of the Labour Party
With a new mandate, how will he use it? He says he wants to unite the party but it's difficult to see how it's possible. Will he become his own man or remain under the apparent control of McDonnell and Milne?

Nicola Sturgeon High Five

2. (-) Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland
Sturgeon's reputation will stand or fall on the result of a second independence referendum. Will she have the courage to push for it?

Sadiq Khan Gurn Zac Goldsmith

3. (+11) Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London
Having won the mayoralty by a big margin, Khan has got off to a storming start in the job. Much more of this and people will be putting him forward as the next leader of the Labour Party. He would do well to ignore such praise and just carry on with the job.

4. (-) John McDonnell
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Possibly the most unlikely appointment since Caligula made his horse a senator. McDonnell holds huge away over Corbyn. Some say he is Corbyn’s Svengali. There's no doubt that Corbyn doesn’t do anything without the say so of McDonnell and the next man on this list...

Seamus Milne

5. (NEW) Seumas Milne
Director of Communications & Strategy
A "tankie" whose strategy is to only allow Corbyn to be interviewed by vaguely sympathetic interviewers if he can get away with it. Like McDonnell, he holds huge influence over Corbyn. The fact that he apparently speaks to George Galloway every day (according to Galloway) tells us a lot.

Tom Watson Jeremy Corbyn

6. (-3) Tom Watson
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Watson is one member of the Shadow Cabinet that McDonnell and Milne can't get rid of. He's elected and he is there to stay. Gradually he is making his views on Corbyn known and it will be interesting to see if and when his patience snaps.

7. (-2) Len McCluskey
General Secretary, UNITE
McCluskey has stayed loyal to Corbyn, even though it's clear he is frustrated by his performance. His union continues to fund the party to a massive extent, but if the polls remain as they are, will Unite really fund Labour to the extent that they did at the last election?

8. (+53) Jon Lansman
Founder & Chair, Momentum
Lansman has managed, despite himself, to stay in the background but this may now change with Corbyn’s new mandate. Momentum’s influence is only going to increase and Lansman knows exactly how to ensure that happens.

9. (NEW) Andrew Fisher
Director of Policy
Fisher has a controversial past but is very adept at imposing himself and his views. One of Corbyn's most trusted lieutenants, he is likely to become even more influential over the next twelve months as he starts drafting some firm policies.

Diane Abbott Rally

10. (+10) Diane Abbott
Shadow Heath Secretary
Abbott has managed to stay out of trouble and after all the mass resignations she was rewarded with the more profile role of Shadow Health Secretary. She is said to have been disappointed not to have bagged the Foreign Affairs portfolio. Would die in a ditch for her leader.

11. (-3) Rosie Winterton
Chief Whip
Winterton is a great survivor. Corbyn doesn’t trust her an inch, but so far he hasn’t dared to get rid of her. That might change imminently.

12. (+27) Andrew Murray
Chief of Staff at UNITE & Chair of the Stop the War Coalition
A deeply divisive figure, Murray has now succeeded Jeremy Corbyn as chair of the Stop the War Coalition, a position he had previously held. But UNITE is his main powerbase and he is the power behind Len McCluskey’s throne.

Frances O'Grady TUC

13. (+10) Frances O’Grady
General Secretary, TUC
O’Grady’s profile has quietly risen in the last twelve months and her advice is likely to be sought more and more from a more trade union friendly Labour Party. Several of her campaigns have cut through and she had a high profile in the EU referendum campaign.

14. (+1) Dave Prentis
General Secretary of UNISON
Another general secretary who will be looking for a more union friendly approach from a Corbyn-led Labour Party. Prentis is a softly spoken moderate and any influence he exerts will be behind the scenes rather than shouted from the ramparts. A resolute defender of Corbyn in the media.

15. (+74) Clive Lewis
Shadow Defence Secretary
Articulate and eloquent, Lewis is seen as one of the left's bright hopes for the future. An ex-soldier who served in Afghanistan, he turned down the role of Shadow Defence Secretary on two occasions, before relenting in June. A real candidate to succeed Corbyn.

16. (+9) Lisa Nandy
Former Shadow Energy & Climate Change Secretary
If Jeremy Corbyn were to fall under a bus, some in the Labour left were looking to Lisa Nandy as the candidate of the left in a future leadership election. However, given she resigned from the front bench in June, she may have her work cut out. Co-edited a book on the future of the left with Caroline Lucas called THE ALTERNATIVE.

17. (NEW) Emily Thornberry
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Like a phoenix from the ashes, Thornberry has recovered from her white van moment to rise, almost by accident, to the top of the Shadow Cabinet. Rather gaffe prone in interviews she will have a huge profile over the next 12 months as the party decides its policy on Trident.

18. (-2) Yvette Cooper
Former Labour leadership candidate
Although beaten into third place, she emerged from the 2015 leadership campaign with some credit, and has retained a high media profile. She is a contender for the chairmanship of the Home Affairs select committee.

19. (-12) Angela Eagle
Former Shadow Business Secretary
The shadow chancellor who never was, and the challenger to Jeremy Corbyn that never was. The next 12 months may see her disappear without trace, but many are hoping she will continue to be one of the saner voices in the Labour Party and push her centrist agenda.

Andy Burnham Mayor Launch

20. (+1) Andy Burnham
Shadow Home Secretary & Candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester
One of the several Labour politicians who now see their future outside the Commons, Burnham will be a shoo-in as Mayor of Greater Manchester. He will surely leave his post as Shadow Home Secretary in the next few weeks.

21. (+52) Paul Mason
Freelance Journalist & Commentator
Some say he is Corbyn’s "Comical Ali", others see him as a guru. Said to have turned down a senior advisory job with Corbyn, he will be an ever louder voice on the media representing Corbyn’s brand of politics.

22. (+30) Caroline Lucas
Co-Leader of the Green Party
Lucas’s profile will increase once again now that she has taken over the co-leadership of the Green Party.

23. (NEW) Tim Roache
General Secretary, GMB
Roache isn’t the media friendly performer that his predecessor Paul Kenny was, and it will be interesting to see how he tries to influence the Labour leadership given that his union backed Owen Smith in the recent leadership contest.

24. (-9) Owen Jones
Guardian columnist
A year of flip-flopping has seen Owen Jones fall on this year’s list. He knows Corbyn can’t win and has taken a risk by saying so. The resulting opprobrium has damaged his image as the golden boy of the left.

25. (-15) Neale Coleman
Director of Policy for the Mayor of London
Coleman fell out of favour with Seumas Milne and resigned as Corbyn’s policy director, leaving to go to advise the Labour candidate for the Bristol mayoralty.

26. (-12) Iain McNicol
General Secretary of the Labour Party
A dead man walking. Corbyn, McDonnell and Milne are determined to get his scalp and in all likelihood they will. He’s had a terrible task over the last twelve months but has performed it with dignity and decorum despite severe provocation.

27. (NEW) Karie Murphy
Office Manager to Jeremy Corbyn
Said to be the oil that lubricates the Corbyn machine, Murphy is one of they key members of his operation.

28. (-5) Chuka Umunna
Former Shadow Business Secretary
Umunna has kept up a high media profile, especially during the referendum campaign but can he succeed in his ambition to become chairman of the Home Affairs select committee. Not if Yvette Cooper has anything to do with it.

29. (+36) Kevin Maguire
Assistant Editor, Daily Mirror
Wisely turned down the job as Corbyn’s Head of Communications, Maguire has become the go to voice for those who want to know what is going on at the top of the Labour Party. Even though he has been critical of Corbyn’s performance, Corbyn’s people know they can’t afford to alienate him.

30. (-1) Alicia Kennedy
Labour Peer
Having run Tom Watson’s deputy leadership campaign Kennedy is the power behind the throne.  A true party insider, she knows where a lot of bodies are buried.

31. (-) Gordon Brown
Former Prime Minister
Gordon Brown’s role in the Scottish referendum victory and indeed his attempt to reinvigorate the Remain campaign have kept him high on this list. However, he has so far failed to carve out a real role for himself.

Owen Smith Bus

32. (-4) Owen Smith
Former Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary & Leadership Candidate
A high new entry last year, Smith’s profile has been raised by his leadership challenge. However, his campaign never caught fire and was hit by several strategic errors. He is likely to continue to be a thorn in Corbyn’s side, but how bad his bite will be remains to be seen.

33. (NEW) Angela Rayner
Shadow Education Secretary
A rising star, Rayner has found her voice in the fight against Theresa May’s grammar school proposals but the jury is out on how far she will go.

34. (NEW) Kate Osamor
Shadow International Development Secretary
Seen as a competent performer, Osamor needs to develop a higher public profile, which is not easy to do in this role.

35. (NEW) James Schneider
National Organiser, Momentum
A posh boy who is a former Liberal Democrat, Schneider has been adept at carving out a high media profile for himself. How far Momentum’s success is down to his organisational abilities is debateable, but there’s no doubt that he is a very competent, charming public face for the insurgent organisation.

36. (NEW) Shami Charkrabarti
Labour Peer
Shami Chakrabarti will have been horrified by the headlines generated by her peerage. She is so high on this list because we consider a shoo-in for Jeremy Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet, probably as Shadow Justice Secretary, or even Shadow Home Secretary.

37. (-28) Hilary Benn
Former Shadow Foreign Secretary
Last year we wrote: "One of the great survivors of modern politics, Hilary Benn is popular among his colleagues and is likely to stand up to any excesses of the Corbyn leadership with both determination and grace." He did, and he’s now out. Likely to run to be chair of the new Brexit select committee.

38. (-3) Alex Salmond
SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesman
Retains a huge ability to grab the headlines but you get the feeling he feels his current role is somewhat beneath him. He’s pushing hard for a second referendum before Brexit occurs, and if it does, he will be one of the key figures.

39. (-9) Heidi Alexander
Former Shadow Health Secretary
One of the nicest people in parliament, Alexander was given a huge promotion when she was appointed to the Health portfolio, where she did an excellent job. Her resignation was clearly very painful to her. She ought to be a major player in the Labour Party’s future.

40. (NEW) J K Rowling
Labour Party donor
J K Rowling has developed a knack of speaking out rarely, but effectively. Her donations both to Labour and to the Remain campaign inevitably confer influence.

Ed Balls Dance

41. (NEW) Ed Balls
His excellent memoir Speaking Out has become a bestseller, and deservedly so. His profile on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ will give him a new platform and although a political comeback is unlikely, never rule anything out.

42. (-2) Carwyn Jones
Welsh First Minister
The most powerful Labour politician in the land, Jones has never bothered to build a UK wide profile and concentrates on his role in Wales.

43. (NEW) Ashuska Asthana/Heather Stewart
Joint Political Editors of The Guardian
They have confounded those who thought a political editor job share could never work. They’ve broken big stories and each developed a good media profile.

44. (-12) Polly Toynbee
Guardian Columnist
Last year we wrote: "Toynbee has been a surprising Corbyn sympathiser…but it’s inevitable that at some point she will part company with Corbyn and his team." It didn’t take long.

45. (+18) Angus Robertson
Leader of the SNP in Westminster
Consistently asks the questions at PMQs that Jeremy Corbyn fails to. Is standing to be deputy leader of the SNP and should win easily. Has managed to keep Alex Salmond in his box in Westminster. No mean achievement.

46. (+36) Jonathan Ashworth
Shadow Minister without portfolio & NEC member
Has been a critic of Corbyn but has decided to hang on in there in the Shadow Cabinet. Consistently walks a political tightrope, but is an impressive media performer.

47. (+47) Jess Phillips
Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley
Last year we wrote: “Anyone who has the balls to tell Diane Abbott to ‘fuck off’ in a PLP meeting deserves to make this list. Phillips is going to be one of the characters of the new Parliament.” We were right. She’s just ousted Dawn Butler to become chair of the Women’s PLP and is writing a book.

48. (-37) Harriet Harman
Former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Influential behind the scenes, Harman has become more outspoken as the months go by. She will soon be publishing her memoirs, guaranteeing a continuing high profile.

49. (+10) Jenny Formby
Political Director, UNITE
It could be argued that Jenny Formby is of even more significance than her general secretary given that she can fund political campaigns across the spectrum and influence candidate selections.

50. (-7) John Cryer
Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
Last year we wrote: "John Cryer has the mother of all tasks in preventing all out civil war within the parliamentary party and his diplomatic skills are likely to be tested to the full, especially if Labour does badly in the various elections next May." Well, he is still there…

51. (+7) Helen Lewis
Deputy Editor, New Statesman
Lewis’s profile is gradually on the rise and she is considered one of the more balanced and thoughtful commentators on the centre left.

52. (-14) Cat Smith
Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement & Youth Affairs
Cat Smith worked for six years in Jeremy Corbyn’s office and knows him better than most. An ultra-leftie herself, she was among the first to nominate Corbyn and will continue to be an influence on him. Perhaps not been as high profile as we expected last year.

53. (-12) Kezia Dugdale
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
Who would have Kezia Dugdale’s job? Possibly the most unenviable job in British politics at the moment. She took Labour from 2nd place to 3rd in Scotland in May, or was it Corbyn? Time will tell if she can take Labour forward.

54. (+3) Jason Cowley
Editor, New Statesman
Cowley has been considered more of a literary specialist than a political one, but his skilful steering of the New Statesman has resulted in the magazine and its website becoming a required political read across the spectrum.

55. (-11) John Woodcock
Labour MP for Barrow in Furness
One of the MPs not afraid to confront the Corynistas and tell it like it is, despite the bullying and aggression he has encountered.

56. (-32) Jon Trickett
Shadow Business Secretary
Formerly chief poilitical advisor to Ed Miliband, Jon Trickett has made the transition seemlessly to the new guard. However, he has failed to build a public profile outside the left of the Labour Party.

57. (+11) Luke Akehurst
Secretary, Labour First
One of the most talented Labour people never to have become MP. His Labour First group is gaining in influence and he may be a key figure in uniting the right of the party. Again failed to be elected to the NEC, though.

58. (+12) Mark Serwotka
General Secretary, PCS
A very popular union leader. Serwotka has courageously struggled with his health in recent times but remains one of the most influential people in the trade union movement.

59. (-8) Dan Jarvis
Labour MP for Barnsley
Labour’s lost leader. Had he run for leader in 2015 or indeed 2016 he may have made a much bigger impression than the other candidates who lost. However, he is finding it difficult to carve out a niche for himself. The next twelve months will be vital for him.

60. (+2) John Swinney
SNP Deputy First Minister of Scotland
Swinney has bounced back role following his lacklustre period as leader. Like his leader he has a well developed sense of humour and provides the ballast in the SNP’s Edinburgh leadership.

61. (+10) Mick Cash
General Secretary, RMT
Cash has had a difficult act to follow, but Bob Crow would have been proud of him with the number of strikes the RMT continues to call. The RMT has yet to reaffiliate to the Labour Party but it can surely only be a matter of time.

62. (-15) Liz Kendall
Former leadership candidate
She is now the undisputed leader of the Blairite right and showed a lot of courage in putting herself forward the leadership so early. Her campaign was mixed to say the least, but she won a lot of friends and made few enemies. She continues to be the predominant holder of the Blairite torch.

63. (+20) Pat McFadden
Former Shadow Europe Minister
Pat McFadden has become one of the ringleaders of opposition to the Corbyn leadership. Quietly spoken, he has proved a force around which the anti-Corbyn forces can unite around.

64. (-38) Gloria de Piero
Former Shadow Minister for Youth Engagement
A key ally of Tom Watson, de Piero was tipped for a big job in the new shadow cabinet but she was sidelined into a youth engagement portfolio, having apparently turned down defence. Since she resigned her role she has been an eloquent voice on the media explaining why the PLP needs to be listened to by the leadership.

65. (-5) Katherine Viner
Editor, The Guardian
The Guardian has steered a rather ambivalent course through Jeremy Corbyn’s first year, afraid to be too confrontational (given that Seumas Milne will one day return from his unpaid leave) but clearly sceptical of the Labour leader’s chances of success. You just get the feeling that The Guardian isn’t influencing the debate in the way that it used to.

Tony Blair Head Down

66. (-20) Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister
Some say Tony Blair is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the future of Labour but given that if you’re even a tad to the right of Jeremy Corbyn you’re denounced as either a ‘Blairite’ or a ‘Tory’, it just shows that the three time election winning former Prime Minister still continues to shape the debate on the left, just as Margaret Thatcher does so on the right.

67. (-3) Lord David Sainsbury
Philanthropist & Labour donor
A man totally out of sync with the current Labour Party it’s unimaginable he will continue to donate to the national party. Instead, he will concentrate his munificence on Progress and other non Corbynite causes.

68. (-34) Kat Fletcher
Political Adviser on stakeholder engagement to Jeremy Corbyn
Former NUS head, she played a key role in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and has now taken on the role of fixer-in-chief. At least we think that’s what ‘stakeholder engagement’ is a euphemism for.

69. (-13) Mhairi Black
SNP MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire South
Mhairi Black may not quite have lived up to her maiden speech, but she remains an inspirational figure in Scottish politics.

70. (NEW) Marvin Rees
Mayor of Bristol
Wrestled back the mayoralty of Britain from an Independent and one of the few black figures in the Labour Party in a position of power.

71. (NEW) John Harris
Guardian Journalist
A growing reputation as an insightful political columnist and often a purveyor of some surprising truths.

72. (-22) Lucy Powell
Former Shadow Education Secretary
Although falling on this year’s list, Lucy Powell remains a politician in the public eye, mainly because she isn’t afraid to call a spade a shovel.

73. (-28) Michael Dugher
Former Shadow Culture, Media & Sport Secretary
One of Jeremy Corbyn’s most vocal critics on the backbenches, he will move heaven and earth to undermine the Labour leader. Am arch plotter who is a very effective political operator.

74. (-38) Stella Creasy
Former deputy leadership candidate
Having fought an excellent deputy leadership election campaign in which she came second, Stella Creasy could have had a job of her asking, but instead she decided not to serve. She’s had a quiet year.

75. (+1) Richard Leese
Leader of Manchester City Council
One of the few local government leaders with a profile, he’s about to be usurped by Andy Burnham. He will do well to appear on next year’s list.

76. (+3) Matt Wrack
General Secretary, FBU
Wrack provided good leadership to his members in the dispute with the government over pay, conditions and pensions, and unusually, he got the public on his side. In the last year he has led his union back into Labour Party affiliation.

77. (NEW) Val Shawcross
Deputy Mayor of London
A veteran of London politics, Shawcross is a vital cog in the Khan mayoralty, just as she was in Ken Livingstone’s.

78. (NEW) Kevin Courtney
General Secretary, National Union of Teachers
Just replaced Christine Blower as General Secretary of a traditionally militant and strike-happy union. It’s too early to judge whether he will follow her policies.

79. (+16) Stephen Bush
Editor of the New Statesman ‘Staggers’ blog
One of the rising stars of a new generation of journalists on the left, he was one of the few to predict the course of last year’s leadership election. An increasing broadcast media profile.

80. (-2) Lloyd Embley
Editor, Daily Mirror
The Mirror was an early recogniser of the defects of the Corbyn leadership and is therefore seen as a hostile force by the Corbynistas.

81. (NEW) Stephen Kinnock
Labour MP for Aberavon
One of the more impressive of the new intake of Labour MPs, he has done well to escape his family surname and be seen as a politician in his own right. Had a ‘good war’ over Tata.

82. (NEW) Richard Burgon
Shadow Minister for Justice
Slightly gaffe-prone, Burgon is widely seen as a tad overpromoted, but the reason is obvious. He’s the biggest Corbyn cheerleader in the shadow cabinet. Reportedly spent eight months as Shadow City Minister without ever meeting anyone from the City. Let’s hope that is aprocrophal.

83. (-2) Baroness Angela Smith
Labour leader in the House of Lords
The role of Labour leader in the House of Lords will be crucial in the Parliament and Smith has declared UDI from the Corbyn leadership. She’s determined that any government defeats will be down to her and her colleagues rather than the Corbynistas taking credit.

84. (-36) Rachel Reeves
Former Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary
Another of Labour’s lost generation who refuse to serve under Jeremy Corbyn. She’s a real loss to the frontbench, but she now has an opportunity to make her mark across all areas of policy. A quiet year. About to publish a biography of one of her predecessors in Leeds, Alice Bacon MP.

Luciana Berger

85. (-36) Luciana Berger
Former Shadow Mental Health Minister
An impressive performer, she was the only jewish member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow team. It was never going to last, was it? Stood to be mayor of Liverpool but came a very poor third.

86. (NEW) Alison McGovern MP
Chair of Progress
One of the last keepers of the Blairite flame, she remains very close to Gordon Brown, who she latterly served as PPS.

87. (NEW) James Murray
Deputy Mayor of London
Murray is the new deputy mayor for Housing and has a key influence over policy more widely in the Khan mayoralty.

88. (+4) Neil Kinnock
Former Leader of the Labour Party
Regarded with affection across the Labour Party, Neil Kinnock has taken on the role of a wise old father figure to Labour politicians from all wings. His speech to the PLP about the failures of the Corbyn leadership reminded many of his conference rant against Militant.

89. (NEW) Pete Wilsman
Member, Labour Party NEC
A key supporter of the Corbyn leadership, Willsman is a veteran of far left politics and is an arch plotter against any group considered to the right of the Labour leader.

90. (NEW) Rachel Shabi
Journalist & Commentator
Omnipresent on our screens, the redoubtable Shabi is one of the few Corbyn supporting commentators to be taken seriously by the media.

91. (NEW) Sam Tarry
Political Officer, TSSA & Director of Corby for Leader
A councillor in Barking and Dagenham, despite apparently living in Brighton, Tarry is close to Corbyn and led his team during the second leadership election. An effective operator.

92. (NEW) Matt Forde
Political Commentator & Comedian
An uber-Blairite, Forde has developed a good reputation as a serious political commentator as well as a comedian. His mimicry is astonishingly accurate and he has just bagged a weekly political show on the channel Dave.

93. (NEW) Ayesha Hazirika
Political Commentator & Comedian
Former adviser to Harman and Miliband, Hazirika is now carving out a role for herself in the world of political punditry. She has also revived her stand-up career, appearing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

94. (NEW) Richard Angell
Director, Progress
A key player in the struggle to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, Progress has now become seen by some as the right wing rival to Momentum, when it is actually nothing of the sort.

95. (+3) Jim McMahon
Labour MP for Oldham
McMahon entered this list last year when he was Labour leader on the LGA. Having won the Oldham by-election, he is seen as a future leader of the party by some on the right.

96. (NEW) James Meadway
Economic Adviser to John McDonnell
Meadway has overtaken Richard Murphy as the far left’s favoured economic guru. Came to McDonnell from the New Economics Foundation.

97. (NEW) James Bloodworth
Labour blogger and author
Seen as an insightful commentator on the left. A prolific blogger and author, his book THE MYTH OF MERITOCRACY has been very well received.

98. (NEW) Jonathan Bartley
Co-Leader of the Green Party
Undoubtedly Bartley will play second fiddle to his co-leader Caroline Lucas. She will be the public face of the Greens and it will be interesting to see how Bartley carves out a role for himself.

Leanne Wood

99. (-) Leanne Wood
Leader of Plaid Cymru
In publicity terms Plaid certainly punches above their weight given their consistent lack of ability to really make a breakthrough in the Welsh Assembley.

100. (NEW) Aaron Bastani
Commentator & Founder of Novaro Media
A controversial figure, Bastani has carved an influential role for him and his social media based company and is held high in the affections of Corbyn and his team.

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