After 15 months on sabbatical, Corbyn spokesman Seumus Milne leaves Guardian associate editor role

Seumus Milne has officially left his role as Guardian associate editor to work on an ongoing basis for Jeremy Corbyn as his PR chief.

The move comes 15 months after the Guardian political columnist was allowed to take a sabbatical from the paper whilst working for Corbyn.

At the time it was as seen as an unusual move which could put Guardian journalists in a difficult position.

In a profile of Milne for GQ, Alex Wickham said last year: “It was highly irregular for him to be granted a sabbatical by his editor so he could cross over to the dark side of political spin.

“The move was helped by Milne’s particularly close, personal friendship with new Guardian editor Kath Viner. Insiders say the pair have been close for years, with Milne even making regular circuits of the newsroom to canvass on her behalf during her successful bid for the job last year – and as editor, Viner had seemingly repaid the favour, allowing her old ally to go ‘on leave’ to work for Labour.

“It was an incredible show of largesse, which confounded the paper’s political journalists, who found themselves in the conflicted position of ving to write critical stories about their own associate editor.”

The Guardian quotes an email to staff from Viner: “I’m writing to let you know that, following a period of unpaid leave from Guardian News & Media, Seumas Milne has decided to continue in his role as the Labour party’s strategy and communications director, and is leaving the staff of the Guardian.

“I would like to thank Seumas for his brilliant Guardian journalism, and we hope he’ll write for us again in the future.”

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