Quigley was elected on Saturday as the new chair of London Young Labour, and is described by friends as being “soft left”. For people who don’t know the Labour party, that means emphatically not from Labour Students, which is traditionally more loyal to the leadership and (they might say) moderate. Quigley has been writing a blog and some articles on LabourList supporting Labour and attacking the Conservatives.
Anyway, her new position, and her writing, were pointed out to Harry Cole who runs the Tory Bear site, and now I hear the Telegraph is working on a story about this civil servant’s perceived failure to be impartial. (As Cole mentions on his blog, DEFRA have said Quigley does not work in a politically restricted post, so she is allowed to engage in some party political activity).
Meanwhile, Labour activists are puzzled as to who could have provided Tory Bear with the details of Quigley, who is not a famous face and whose job title is known to very few people outside the civil service.
It’s not gone unnoticed by them that Quigley’s victory over her opponent for chair of London Young Labour, the Labour Students candidate David Green, happened just two days before this revelation. Quigley didn’t actually win on votes, but on a coin toss: it was a dead heat.
Green has distanced himself from any involvement, and I imagine Labour Students (with whom I’ve left a message tonight) would do likewise. There is of course no evidence to link anyone to anything, and I don’t suggest otherwise for a moment. But such is the fractious nature of Labour’s internal politics, it would be disingenuous to say this doesn’t look at all like an inside job. After all, Labour sources are known to have given damaging material on enemies within the party to bloggers in the past.