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.

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

44 Responses to “Changes at Left Foot Forward”

  1. 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!

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. william

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

  5. 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 ;-}

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