Peter Bingle argues Simon Fletcher’s resignation as Jeremy Corbyn’s Director of Campaigns is that very rare thing in politics: a resignation that matters.

In politics, most resignations prove insignificant. Normally caused by a scandal they rarely have any long-term impact on their party or the body politic. The person concerned may be famous for a day or so but they normally become forgotten and irrelevant within the week.

Very rarely, however, a resignation happens which really is significant. Such is the case with Simon Fletcher who resigned last week. Why? Because it showed that the Corbyn project is literally dying before us.

Simon is not a household name. There will be many Labour MPs and council leaders who have never heard of him. Yet he has been one of the key players for a very long time and in the modern politics of the Left and particularly London politics he is a very influential figure indeed.

I first came across Simon when he was Ken Livingstone’s Chief of Staff during his two-term tenure as Mayor of London. The two men were close, personally and politically. Ken loved the public nature of the mayoralty. Simon preferred to stay in the background but his presence was felt by everybody who worked at City Hall. He was the perfect Chief of Staff as he was both respected and liked.

Simon has always been of the Left but unlike some he has never been tribal and intolerant of those colleagues with a different political narrative. Why he was so important and necessary was his ability as a strategist and campaigner. Simon is without doubt one of the best thinkers and strategists of his generation.

When it was announced that Simon had joined Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign it was one of the first signs that the campaign was not only serious but almost certain to win. When it was further announced that Simon would be joined by his old GLA colleague and friend Neale Coleman it showed that Corbyn was capable of making very good appointments and was taking the role seriously.

It soon became clear, however, that Simon was becoming increasingly isolated within those close to, and influential around, Corbyn. Battles that have their roots in the early days of the Livingstone years as Leader of the GLC resurfaced. The bitterness had if anything intensified over the years. Simon’s isolation increased after Coleman’s departure and many of us expected him to resign shortly after.

It says a great deal that Simon stayed as long as he did. He was clearly not enjoying himself. The reason is very clear and typical of the man. He is somebody who is personally very loyal and dedicated to the cause in which he believes. The fact that he has decided to go shows that the game is well and truly over for Jeremy Corbyn.

When the books are written about the Corbyn years there will be many chapters about people of no obvious significance. Yet Simon Fletcher was there at the beginning and his departure signified that the end was nigh!

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