Joe Fortune has been appointed the Co-op Party’s general secretary, taking over from Claire McCarthy, who is leaving the organisation after four years to work in local government.
Mr Fortune is currently the Party’s national political and policy manager, having been with the party since 2010. From 2014-15, he was a political advisor to the shadow secretary of state for transport. He has been an executive member of the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA), the only environmental group affiliated to the Labour Party, since 2008.
He has a degree in politics and parliamentary atudies from the University of Leeds. After graduating he joined the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Rail Group. Later on, he worked in public affairs and lobbying, specialising in transport and infrastructure.
As the Party’s transport expert, he has played a key role in campaigning and developing the party’s policy proposals for mutual models for rail and bus services.
Mr Fortune said he was “greatly looking forward” to the role, which he will be taking up this month.
“Claire McCarthy has been a fantastic general secretary and a great colleague to the whole team at the Party – we all wish her well,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time for the Party and for the co-operative movement, we have huge opportunities ahead of us. I look forward to working with our new chair, NEC, staff, the entire Party and movement in the new role.”
In June the Party’s executive committee elected Anna Turley as chair. She replaces MP Gareth Thomas, who announced his decision to stand down last month, after nearly 20 years in the role.
Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said: “Joe is a wonderful appointment, one that will be welcomed inside and outside the party. He knows parliamentary politics backwards and has a long and deep commitment to co-operative action. The Co-operative Party is in very good hands.”