6 May 2009

Message from Derek Draper

Dear All,

I am emailing directly because I wanted you to know before anyone else does about developments at LabourList.Two weeks ago I posted on the site saying I was sorry for my role in the Damian McBride affair. Of course I regret ever receiving the infamous email and I regret my stupid hasty reply. Instead I should have said straight away that the idea was wrong.

I do ask people to remember, though, that in the end its contents were never published by me or anyone else involved in the Labour party and they would never have seen the light of day were it not for someone hacking into my emails and placing them into the public domain. Because of that, what was a silly idea ultimately destined for the trash can became a national scandal. Nonetheless, I should have made clear they were unacceptable from the very beginning.

On a much smaller note I also think I got the tone of LabourList wrong sometimes, being too strident, aggressive and obsessed with the "blogosphere". Having said that I am proud that I was the founder of LabourList. It really was a Labour of love. In just over 100 days there have been nearly 250 contributors, over 500 posts and 18,000 comments. I’d like to think one day I’ll be judged on all of that rather than just one, admittedly awful, email.

What has become clear, though, is that my continued editorship can only detract from what LabourList needs to do now. That is why, after a couple of weeks of reflection, I am passing on the editorship to Alex Smith, who has been a very able Deputy to me from the beginning. I have no doubt that Alex will steer the site to bigger and better things and I urge everyone who wants Labour to have a vibrant, active space on the internet to give him your backing and get involved in whatever comes next.

Derek Draper

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