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Friday, July 17, 2015

Why is the Labour leadership race taking so long?

For once the Liberal Democrats have delivered a textbook example of how to change leader. Two candidates fighting a spirited and good-natured campaign, the contest wrapped up in 10 weeks with a clear outcome and a party uniting around the winner.

In contrast Labour's leadership contest seems to be spiralling out of control with months still to go, controversy over the decision by their acting leader to support the Conservative's welfare bill, bizarre rules that seem to encourage entryism and which has led to the candidate representing the left wing of the party to call for a witchhunt to root out infiltrators (echoes of Neil Kinnock there), and the rest of the Labour Party thrown into a deep depression at the prospect that Jeremy Corbyn might actually win.

This is not a good time for the Labour Party whose reaction to defeat appears to be a level of introspection and in-fighting that rivals even that of the 1980s. They may have neutralised the union vote that foisted the disatrous Ed Miliband on the party but they still have a lot to learn about conducting an inclusive and fair leadership campaign.

I am sure the Liberal Democrats would be happy to offer some pointers.
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