The Co-operative Party’s National Executive Committee has appointed Claire McCarthy as its new general secretary.
She takes over the role from Karin Christiansen, who was the organisation’s first ever female general secretary, and held the role for three years.
Ms McCarthy has over a decade of experience as a special adviser, public affairs professional and charity leader developing public policy ideas, influencing policy and political debates and changing legislation. She has been the Co-operative Party’s head of external and political affairs for the past two years.
“Claire has led on much of our work with the wider co-operative movement, while the Party’s recent success in securing credit union services for the armed forces is but one example of the skill with which she has overseen the Party’s work with Co-operative MPs and Peers,” said Gareth Thomas, chair of the Party.
“As we look towards the Party’s Centenary in 2017, Claire’s combination of co-operative movement, Labour party and wider political and policy experience puts the Party in an excellent position to take on the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Working as a special adviser when Labour were in government, she served on the Labour Party National Executive Committee and National Policy Forum. In the run up to May’s general election, Ms McCarthy won key policy commitments and pledges to implement Co-operative Party proposals from Ed Miliband.
“I am honoured to have been appointed as the Co-operative Party’s new General Secretary,” said Ms McCarthy. “There is a lot to be done – and great opportunities to seize. Our values and principles have so much to offer and I am utterly determined that we take every opportunity to champion them.
“I look forward to working with the Party Staff, NEC, our members, subscribing societies and the co-operative movement to build a more co-operative Britain.”