Category Archives: Labour

Election of the Speaker: the Candidates

Margaret Beckett MP  Labour

Sir Alan Beith MP Liberal Democrat

John Bercow MP Conservative

Sir Patrick Cormack MP Conservative

Parmjit Dhanda MP Labour

Sir Alan Haslehurst MP Conservative

Sir Michael Lord MP Conservative

Richard Shepherd MP Conservative

Ann Widdecombe MP Conservative

Sir George Young MP Conservative 

The voting begins after the candidates give a short election address in the House of Commons at 2.30pm.  A series of secret ballots will take place until one candidate has a majority of the votes.

Miliband Ducks on Today

On the Today programme this morning David Miliband effectively completed the task he began in August last year when he ducked out of a challenge for the Labour leadership.  The task in question was to finally put an end to any prospect that he might one day be prime minister.  

Not only did he name Alan Johnson clearly as the number one challenger, but he avoided direct enquiries about his knowledge of a plot against Brown.  Time after time he ignored Jim Naughtie’s questions to deliver prepared statements about the Labour ‘project’.   He even bizarrely asserted that the forced bail out of  Lloyds Bank was an example of a ‘radical new phase’ in government policy.

The only thing that was absolutely clear in this interview is that he is too weak and indecisive to ever lead the party.

Will Labour Force Gordon Out?

With less than a year to go before an election a party in government never forces a leader out.  Received wisdom says it would be electoral suicide.  Government MPs would never sanction a move that might see them turfed out of the house.  But what if defeat is inevitable anyway?  What if the circumstance were so unusual that enough government MPs thought the only way to save their seat was a spot of modern day ‘regicide’?  What is is that they say about exceptions?

Two top cabinet ministers plus the cabinet office minister are on their way out.  Jacqui Smith has told Gordon she want to go,  Tom Watson has told friends he wants to go and pretty much everyone has told Gordon they want Alistair Darling to go.  Thursday will see a trouncing for Labour particularly in Europe and but also in local government.  MPs are are ducking and diving to save their skins as ‘moatgate’ continues.  The demands for an immediate election are getting louder and Gordon’s siren calls on constitutional reform won’t drag the demands off course. 

Gordon won’t call an election before he has to.  He has form on that score.  The inevitable course will lead Labour further down in the polls.  How long is it before the ageing young turks near the top of the party decide that the only way to buy time and offset a defeat so large that it may mean decades in the wilderness, is a coup?