Fraudster Marsha-Jane Thompson is now acting head of party general secretary Jennie Formby’s office
Labour MPs reacted with anger last night after a hard-Left loyalist convicted of fraud was given a new key role at the party’s headquarters.
Marsha-Jane Thompson, a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, is now acting head of party general secretary Jennie Formby’s office.
The former council officer, who was previously in charge of the Labour leader’s campaigns and visits, was convicted in 2006 for claiming she had completed council work that she had not done.
Labour MPs last night claimed the appointment was a ‘power grab’ by Mr Corbyn to reinforce his grip over the party machinery. One said: ‘We all believe in rehabilitation of offenders but this is going to be a key role in the run-up to the Election.
‘It is a mistake to give it someone who has a conviction for fraud.’
Tory MP Andrew Percy said the appointment of the convicted fraudster (pictured left with Jeremy Corbyn) demonstrates ‘the depths to which the once great Labour Party has plunged under the extreme Left-wing leadership of Corbyn’
Party workers also protested that Ms Thompson will take on many of the general secretary’s duties as Ms Formby has been having treatment for breast cancer.
Ms Thompson, hailed by the Communist Morning Star newspaper for being at the heart of Mr Corbyn’s 2015 leadership bid, was found guilty in 2006 of 19 counts under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act, and one count of false accounting under the 1968 Theft Act. She was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.
Pierce (pictured) added how the appointment ‘is something you couldn’t make up’ while a Labour party source defended Corbyn by saying Thompson’s conviction was more than 10 years old
There were raised eyebrows when, two years ago, Mr Corbyn recruited her to work in his parliamentary office. But that turned to anger last night when Labour MPs learned of her latest role. One said: ‘I really think that Corbyn’s inner circle just don’t care how this looks.’
Tory MP Andrew Percy said: ‘Labour putting a convicted fraudster in charge of one of their most senior offices is something you couldn’t make up. It demonstrates the depths to which the once great Labour Party has plunged under the extreme Left-wing leadership of Corbyn.’
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘We don’t comment on staffing matters.’ But party sources defended the appointment, saying Ms Thompson’s conviction was more than ten years old. A Corbyn ally added: ‘This looks like another pathetic attempt to attack the party leader and it’s extremely unfair on Ms Thompson.’