Steve Howell was Jeremy Corbyn's deputy director of strategy and communications during the 2017 General Election.
Drafted in earlier in the year, his task was to help Corbyn and his team turn Labour's fortunes around and prepare for the snap that duly came.
A former BBC journalist, Howell had run a successful communications consultancy for twenty years and was winding down to retirement when the call came. But, as a Labour Party member and Corbyn supporter, he could hardly turn down one last fling in the national political arena.
He was a member a Corbyn's election strategy group and involved in all the key campaign decisions. In the Sunday Times he was described as "unhinged" because of his optimistic view of Corbyn's chances. The Guardian reported that "insiders say he is making his presence felt".
Howell first became active in politics as a teenager when he and Peter Mandelson formed a branch of the Labour Party Young Socialists in Hendon. Working for Corbyn, he found himself fighting to prove his old friend wrong.