Could supporting Cruddas be a way showing unease about Brown?
My nomination for Iain Dale’s political blogger of the year (won incidentally by Iain Dale himself – funny that given he was the promoter and vote counter) was Paul Linford. To my mind Paul provides the best insights into Labour party matters and this evening he speculates about who would become deputy leader if Harriet finds she cannot carry on because of the donation scandal.
Clearly Harman would be out of it. Those who came in the bottom half of the ballot, Benn, Blears and Hain would, Paul suggests, probably not put their hats into the ring. That leaves Jon Cruddas and Alan Johnson.
Johnson was tipped by Guido last time as the winner and, indeed, the Daily Telegraph reported during the Manchester conference that he had done it. He’s very ambitious and would, surely be there again.
But could Johnson beat Cruddas who turned down a job offer from Brown and, as Linford notes, “..is untainted by association with any of the disasters to strike the government over recent weeks”? Paul thinks he could win.
Other possible contenders suggested by Paul could be Caroline Flint, Ruth Kelly and Jacqui Smith as well as Jack Straw.
The danger for Brown is that such an election could be a means for the movement to register their discontent with his leadership. If it went along that route then Cruddas would be the man.
But before we jump ahead of ourselves Harman has, first, to step down.