Iain Dale's 100 Most Influential People On The Left - 2015

28 September 2015, 16:03 | Updated: 25 August 2016, 12:07

Jeremy Corbyn Win

In the second of a series looking at the most influential political figures in Britain, Iain Dale gives his verdict on the Top 100 people on the Left in 2015.

"Each year I convene three panels to compile lists of the Top 50 Liberal Democrats, the Top 100 People on the Left and the Top 100 People on the Right. Each list is published to coincide with the three party conferences. Today, it's time to look at the Left."

Iain Dale

The Top 100 Most Influential People On The Left
1. (NEW) Jeremy Corbyn

Leader of the Labour Party. There is no doubt that Jeremy Corbyn’s election to Labour’s leadership has changed the political weather. He’s galvanised the Labour left in a way no one has since Tony Benn or Ken Livingstone. But can he stick to his principled agenda without compromising Labour’s chances of electoral success?

2. (+6) Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister of Scotland. She’s taken to power like a duck to water and she’s without doubt the first lady of the left in the UK. Her popularity in Scotland is unchallenged and many in England wish they could vote for her. After next May’s elections she’s likely to be even more powerful.

3. (+32) Tom Watson

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Some wonder how long it will be before Watson resigns from this position, like he has from all the other positions of power he has ever held. This is to underestimate him. He protests that he has no interest in eventually becoming leader, but one wonders how he will build and then use his new power base.

4. (NEW) John McDonnell

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Possibly the most unlikely appointment since Caligula made his horse a senator. McDonnell and his unique brand of economics are loathed politically by almost the entire Parliamentary Labour Party. How long will their patience last?

5. (-3) Len McCluskey

General Secretary, UNITE. Money talks and Len McCluskey has a lot of it to distribute. Jeremy Corbyn may have a lot in common politically with Len McCluskey but can he persuade the UNITE leader to open his wallet? McCluskey won’t want to throw good money after bad, and will certainly exact a price for his munificence.

6. (+75) Simon Fletcher

Chief of Staff to Jeremy Corbyn. One of the few people with executive experience in Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle, Fletcher performed the same role for Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London. His performance in this role will in part determine Corbyn’s chances of success.

7. (+36) Angela Eagle

Shadow Business Secretary. The Shadow Chancellor who never was, Angela Eagle may turn out to be one of the most important voices in the shadow cabinet. She’s popular and perfectly capable of saying ‘no’ if she won’t go along with something.

8. (+50) Rosie Winterton

Chief Whip. It’s rumoured that she conducted the reshuffle more or less alone after Jeremy Corbyn made the decision about John McDonnell. She will have the job from hell trying to keep the various factions of the PLP together, but if anyone can do it, she can.

9. (NEW) Hilary Benn

Shadow Foreign Secretary. One of the great survivors of modern politics, Hilary Benn is popular amongst his colleagues and is more likely to be able to adapt to the new regime than most, and is likely to stand up to any excesses of the Corbyn leadership with both determination and grace.

10. (NEW) Neale Coleman

Director of Policy. A massive appointment for Jeremy Corbyn, and possibly the only one welcomed by all sides of the party. Coleman was a key figure in the Livingstone mayoralty and was so impressive that Boris Johnson kept him on.

11. (+1) Harriet Harman

Former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

12. (+28) Iain McNicol

General Secretary of the Labour Party

13. (+7) Owen Jones

Guardian columnist

14. (+8) Sadiq Khan

Labour candidate for Mayor of London

15. (_+29) Dave Prentis

General Secretary of UNISON

16. (-12) Yvette Cooper

Former Labour leadership candidate

17. (+17) Sir Paul Kenny

General Secretary of the GMB

18. (+62) Maria Eagle

Shadow Defence Secretary

19. (NEW) Seema Malhotra

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

20. (+51) Diane Abbott

Shadow International Development Secretary

21. (-16) Andy Burnham

Shadow Home Secretary

22. (NEW) Lord Charlie Falconer

Shadow Justice Secretary

23. (+2) Frances O'Grady

General Secretary, TUC

24. (NEW) Jon Trickett

Shadow Communities Secretary

25. (+39) Lisa Nandy

Shadow Energy & Climate Change Secretary

26. (NEW) John Healey

Shadow Minister for Housing

27. (+52) Gloria de Piero

Shadow Minister for Youth Engagement

28. (+40) Owen Smith

Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary

29. (NEW) Alicia Kennedy 

Labour Peer

30. (NEW) Heidi Alexander

Shadow Health Secretary

31. (-12) Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister

32. (-11) Polly Toynbee

Guardian Columnist

33. (-26) Chuka Umunna

Former Shadow Business Secretary

34. (NEW) Kat Fletcher

Political Adviser on stakeholder engagement to Jeremy Corbyn

35. (-9) Alex Salmond

SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesman

36. (+5) Stella Creasy

Former deputy leadership candidate

37. (NEW) Ken Livingstone

Former Mayor of London and LBC presenter

38. Cat Smith

Labour MP for Lancaster & Fleetwood

39. (NEW) Andrew Murray

Political Director of UNITE

40. (-4) Carwyn Jones

Welsh First Minister

41. (NEW) Kezia Dugdale

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party

42. (NEW) Richard Murphy


43. (NEW) John Cryer

Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party

44. (NEW) John Woodcock

Chairman of Progress

45. (-22) Michael Dugher

Shadow Culture, Media & Sport Secretary

46. (-26) Tony Blair

Former Prime Minister

47. (+18) Liz Kendall

Former leadership candidate

48. (-39) Rachel Reeves

Former Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary

49. (+14) Luciana Berger

Shadow Mental Health Minister

50. (+35) Lucy Powell

Shadow Education Secretary

51. (+19) Dan Jarvis

Labour MP for Barnsley

52. (+3) Caroline Lucas

Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

53. (NEW) Annaliese Midgley

Deputy Chief of Staff to Jeremy Corbyn

54. (-30) Tristram Hunt

Former Shadow Education Secretary

55. (NEW) Jim Kennedy

Chairman of Labour's NEC

56. (NEW) Mhaira Black

SNP MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire South

57. (+10) Jason Cowley

Editor, New Statesman

58. (-13) Helen Lewis

Deputy Editor, New Statesman

59. (NEW) Jenny Formby

Political Director, UNITE

60. (NEW) Katherine Viner

Editor, The Guardian

61. (NEW) Jon Lansman

Editor, Left Futures

62. (NEW) John Swinney

SNP Deputy First Minister of Scotland

63. (NEW) Angus Robertson

Leader of the SNP in Westminster

64. (+11) Lord David Sainsbury

Philanthropist & Labour donor

65. (-6) Kevin Maguire

Assistant Editor, Daily Mirror

66. (-36) Keith Vaz

Chairman, Home Affairs Select Committee

67. (-45) Jon Cruddas

Labour MP for Dagenham

68. (NEW) Luke Akehurst

Secretary, Labour First

69. (+24) Chris Bryant

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

70. (-12) Mark Serwotka

General Secretary, PCS

71. (NEW) Mick Cash

General Secretary, RMT

72. (NEW) Kevin Slocombe

Press Secretary to Jeremy Corbyn

73. (NEW) Paul Mason

Economics Editor, Channel Four News

74. (-23) Simon Danczuk

Labour MP for Rochdale

75. (-7) Alan Johnson

Former Home Secretary

76. (-4) Richard Leese

Leader of Manchester City Council

77. (-) John Mills

Chairman of JML & party donor

78. (NEW) Lloyd Embley

Editor, Daily Mirror

79. (NEW) Matt Wrack

General Secretary, FBU

80. (-33) George Galloway

Respect London mayoral candidate

81. (NEW) Baroness Angela Smith

Labour leader in the House of Lords

82. (-23) Jonathan Ashworth

Shadow Minister without portfolio & NEC member

83. (NEW) Pat McFadden

Shadow Europe Minister_

84. (NEW) Vernon Coaker

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

85. (NEW) Will Straw

Executive Director, In Campaign

86. (-33) Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Columnist, The Independent

87. (NEW) Sian Berry

Green Party London mayoral candidate

88. (-55) Nick Pearce

Director, IPPR

89. (NEW) Clive Lewis

Labour MP for Norwich South

90. (-4) Natalie Bennett

Leader, Green Party

91. (NEW) Wes Streeting

Labour MP for Ilford North

92. (NEW) Neil Kinnock

Former Leader of the Labour Party

93. (+5) Humza Yousaf

SNP Minister for External Affairs

94. (NEW) Jess Phillips

Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley

95. (NEW) Stuart Hosie

Deputy Leader of the SNP in Westminster

96. (NEW) Keir Starmer

Labour MP for Holborn & St Pancras

97. (NEW) Stephen Bush

Editor of the New Statesman 'Staggers' blog

98. (NEW) Jim McMahon

Labour leader on the LGA

99. (+1) Leanne Wood

Leader of Plaid Cymru

100. (NEW) Ben Chacko

Editor, Morning Star