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Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Labour leader faces choppy waters - and nominations are still open!!

There are still four days until the close of nominations for the new Labour leader and already the successful candidate, whoever that will be, is under pressure.

Today's Times reports on a threat by Labour-guru and former Blair spin-doctor, Alastair Campbell that he will “happily lead the charge” to oust the next Labour leader should they fail to make an impact. Campbell has signed up to moves to put a break-clause into the new leadership so that party members are able to participate in a confidence vote before 2020 so as to show whether the successful candidate still has the party’s backing:

“I’m not going to back anybody publicly [for the leadership],” he said. “But if in three years’ time they’re not winning and they’re not cutting it, and it is obvious we are not going to get close to winning an election, I will not bite my tongue and I will encourage others not to bite their tongues. I will happily lead the charge to try to replace whoever is leader.”

His intervention came as Mr Blair told The Times that Labour faced losing a third consecutive election unless its next leader pushed the party out of its “comfort zone”, adding that securing some backing from the business world would also be crucial.

The former prime minister, who won three elections, said the new leader would have to show they could “lead the country and rise above their party”. He added: “For progressive parties particularly, if you retreat into your comfort zone you lose — that’s the lesson of 100 years of our history.”

I do not think that branding your new leader as a failure before they have even been elected is really a constructive way to rebuild after a disastrous election.  But if that is the Labour way who am I to argue?
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