B.C. MP Peter Julian will be caucus chair and Anne McGrath will remain chief of staff during the transition before leaving in June.Lavigne, who by all accounts has been a significant force in the NDP's rise under Layton, was being cited by Ed Broadbent last week as someone who he hoped would continue to play an instrumental role going forward:
But Brad Lavigne, who was the party's national director and principal secretary to Layton and Turmel, told the CBC's Hannah Thibedeau he is leaving his positions immediately. Lavigne said he made the decision before Christmas.
Broadbent named those in Layton's inner circle whom he believes deserve the credit but who may have no future in the party if Mulcair is chosen leader: Topp, who served as Layton's national campaign director, chief of staff Ann McGrath, principal secretary Brad Lavigne and Raymond Guardia, who ran the Quebec campaign for Layton.
Guardia is now Topp's national campaign director. McGrath and Lavigne have remained neutral in the leadership contest, serving as chief of staff and principal secretary respectively to interim leader Nycole Turmel.
He said it "does indeed" worry him that some or all of Layton's team will be sidelined if Mulcair wins, given the apparent contempt the front-runner feels for them.That sounded like a very contingent situation as set out by Broadbent last week.
"These are good, fine, dedicated, competent people ... I'm sure many of them are concerned when you have one of the leadership candidates who's doing very well making these kinds of comments. If I were in one of those positions, I would be concerned."
A new leader, of course, should have the right to have their own key staffers in place, it would be uncomfortable and possibly unworkable if they could not. Staffers aren't the primary consideration for a party's leadership. But, they're key players. And it looks like the NDP are losing two of their best, Lavigne and McGrath.