Changes at Left Foot Forward

After nearly two years setting up and editing Left Foot Forward, I have decided to pass on the leadership of the blog to what Ed Miliband might call a “new generation”.

Shamik Das, our excellent assistant editor becomes Acting Editor, and Daniel Elton, a trained fundraiser who has been working with Left Foot Forward on the separate Latimer Project, will take over as Managing Director with responsibility for business development. Our regular writers Nicola Smith and Marcus Roberts will become contributing editors on social policy and foreign policy respectively. They join a new editorial board which will be expanded in the coming weeks.

In January, I start as Associate Director for Strategic Development at the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr). I’ll be working with new Director Nick Pearce and ippr’s terrific team of researchers (many of whom will be familiar as LFF contributors) to help rebuild the policy platform for British progressives as well as developing the Institute’s international relationships, particularly in the US where I used to work. I’ll continue to write – primarily on economic policy – for Left Foot Forward.

Setting up and editing Left Foot Forward over the past 18 months has been an enormously rewarding challenge and I’m thrilled that we now have a regular monthly audience of over 50,000 and have been voted the No.1 left-wing blog. I’ve no doubt that the new team will take the blog from strength to strength.

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44 Responses to “Changes at Left Foot Forward”

  1. Grant Blowers

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward

  2. Tweetminster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward

  3. janie_s

    not tempted to get a proper job? just for a bit? it will help give you credibility when you try and become an MP.

  4. william

    Oxford University.Fulbright scholar.HM Treasury.Left Foot Forward.IPPR,next.What about 10 years in the real world of the private sector to gain an appreciation of what the majority experience each working day?

  5. janie_s

    I predict a few years at IPPR then MP for somewhere really diverse like Blackburn but living somewhere really white Like Minster Lovell. Like father like son!

  6. Mr. Sensible

    Will, you talk about 2 of our regular writers becoming managing editors in specific subjects. Will the same happen with some of the others?

    Good luck and am pleased to see you will continue to write for the blog!

  7. Siôn Simon

    congratulations. it’s a great achievement, and widely recognised as such.

    i’m sure the sneering commenters are right that you will end up in the cabinet. they seem to think that determination, ambition and a track record of outstanding success should for some reason preclude that. they are wrong, obviously.

    i suspect, though, that they are also wrong to think that you will bypass the private sector. which is good.

    good luck and well played.

    (fwiw, sneerers, will and i are not friends. i hardly know the man. he just deserves a bit of credit for what he has achieved).

  8. Will Straw

    Mr. Sensible – thank you for the good wishes and your continued contributions to the blog. We’re looking to see who else is interested in taking on contributing editorial work but recognise that most of our existing contributors already give a huge amount to LFF.

    janie_s and william – Thanks for your concern. I’ve been fortunate enough to come from a family where love and support helped me go from my comprehensive to Oxford Uni. I’ve devoted the rest of my career to understanding why I was given that opportunity and what can be done to help others achieve the same regardless of the family circumstances they’re born into. I’ve done this through working in the public, private, and now third sector and intend to devote my career to it. On the way, I’ve spent time in the US to get a different perspective on the same issues and have set up this business which employs three people. I won’t judge you for your choices if you won’t judge me for mine.

  9. william

    Who or what has financed LFF?The third sector means what exactly?Who or what was your private sector employer?

  10. Anon E Mouse

    Will – All the best for the future fella. Now how about a gesture of goodwill and unblock my static IP address at home as you said you would but didn’t.

    I’d hate to suggest you’d make a good MP by saying one thing and doing another ;-}

  11. Mark Ferguson

    Exciting times for the Labour/Left blogosphere, and best of luck to @wdjstraw with new endeavours

  12. David Taylor

    RT @Markfergusonuk: Exciting times for the Labour/Left blogosphere, and best of luck to @wdjstraw with new endeavours

  13. Wes Streeting

    RT @Markfergusonuk: Exciting times for the Labour/Left blogosphere, and best of luck to @wdjstraw with new endeavours

  14. janie_s

    Isn’t LFF funded by the Unions? I imagine Jack put in a good word.

  15. anyleftiwonder

    All the best Will – hope LFF will remain the same – my daily dose keeps me going !

  16. Mr. Sensible

    BTW Will, what is the ‘Movement Politics’ catagory? Is it a new one, or just one I have missed?

  17. Hazico_Jo

    RT @Markfergusonuk: Exciting times for the Labour/Left blogosphere, and best of luck to @wdjstraw with new endeavours

  18. Clifford Singer

    Calm down janie_s: If you want to know who funds LFF all you have to do is click on the “Thanks” button at the top of this page. I wish some of the right’s organisations provided the same information.

  19. Rick Muir

    RT @Markfergusonuk: Exciting times for the Labour/Left blogosphere, and best of luck to @wdjstraw with new endeavours

  20. Martin Tillier

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward

  21. Elaine

    Ignore the crabby cynics.
    LFF has made a major contribution to political discussion and I say ‘Thank you very much’ for your work. I particularly appreciate the emphasis on “evidence” and that you imported the American practice 🙂 of citing sources: both are key to developing serious political debate and are too often absent from so much UK political commentary – which then falls far short of any claim to be ‘analysis.’

  22. Sunny Hundal

    Well done with taking LFF this far Will, and good luck with the future. Hope to see this site continue to go from strength to strength!

  23. paulstpancras

    Changes at Left Foot Forward | Left Foot Forward

  24. Mark Pack

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward < Best of luck with new job @wdjstraw

  25. Sunder Katwala

    RT @markpack: RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward < Best of luck with new job @wdjstraw

  26. Billy Blofeld

    Au revoir and bonne chance. It has been fun……….

  27. DavidMentiply

    Congratulations Will it’s well deserved. LFF is a fantastic site and I’m it will continue to hold the government to account for its actions – Democracy at its best. If your blogging contributions diminish due to workload I hope we will be seeing a lot more of you over on Twitter…

  28. Eddy Anderson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward

  29. Eddy Anderson

    Good luck Will – three cheers for LFF!

  30. Ed

    Best of luck. I rarely agree with your politics but it is certainly insightful and will be missed.

  31. Mags W

    @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward < Very best wishes Will, and congrats. @wdjstraw

  32. Nick Maxwell

    @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward > well done Will, @wdjstraw, well done Sham! @shamikdas

  33. Hazico_Jo

    RT @MagsNews: @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward < Very best wishes Will, and congrats. @wdjstraw

  34. digby

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward

  35. alexsmith1982

    Congratulations to @wdjstraw on a job excellently done with @LeftFootFwd. Changes afoot everywhere. Good luck at @ippr.

  36. Deborah Segalini

    Congrats all round!

  37. Brian Duggan

    Best of luck @wdjstraw in move on from @LeftFootFwd, congrats on job well done for the left online

  38. Johanna Baxter

    RT @TheBrianDuggan: Best of luck @wdjstraw in move on from @LeftFootFwd, congrats on job well done for the left online

  39. David Choat

    Congratulations on the new job, Will, and well done on your considerable achievement in building Left Foot Forward to where it is now. As a New Zealander with a interest in progressive politics internationally, I find it an indispensable read, and your team’s approach to running a blog is an inspiration.

  40. Mary Goudie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Changes at Left Foot Forward

  41. Bill Wells

    I wish you well in your new venture. LFF fills an important gap and reminds me every week to keep my eye on the main ball.

  42. Judy Dickinson

    Many thanks Will for all the facts and figures you have provided campaigners with over these last two years. Keep them coming from your new job. Hope you will continue as great fringe speaker at Labour Conference.

  43. Will Straw

    Thanks very much for all the kind comments. I really appreciate it.


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