Do we now have a stalking horse?
Probably the most significant political move this morning is the above story by Tim Shipman on the Mail website about the plans of Barry Sheerman MP to make a stand in coming secret PLP elections as the anti-Brown candidate.
The outline of the process was first revealed by Shipman last week but this takes it a couple of steps forward. Firstly long-standing Brown critic, Sheerman, is named and secondly there’s a plan for him to challenge, as well, for the chairmanship of the parliamentary party currently held by Brown-loyalist, Tony Lloyd.
The hope of the rebels, according to the report, is that the process will “let MPs send a clear signal to the Prime Minister that they want him gone – without fear of recrimination.”
What we don’t know yet is whether this is co-ordinated with other moves.
I am of the view that if faced with a serious enough challenge then Mr. Brown could go of his own accord. The one thing about Labour’s current polling situation is that it certainly focuses the minds of those who could lose their seats in a few months time.
PaddyPower have 4/1 that Brown will be out by the end of November and 7/2 that he’ll go in the December – February period.