Friday, May 21, 2010

Labour Leadership Race Getting Crowded

With the Labour Party extending the deadline for would-be leaders to declare their candidacy, the race to become the successor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has gotten crowded.

It may get more crowded yet.

The campaign started slowly, with the Miliband brothers, David and Ed, declaring their candidacy. They have since been followed by Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, John McDonnell, and Diane Abbott.

Abbott is the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. In 1987 Abbott was the first black woman elected to the British House of Commons. Abbott is a second-generation Birton born to Jamaican immigrants. She has also contributed her talents to the Jamaica Observer newspaper.

Although Abbott, 56, was a member of the National Council for Civil Liberties, where she worked alongside former Labour Cabinet Ministers Paul Boateng, Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt, Abbot has no Ministerial experience -- likely a handicap in the contest.

John McDonnell, 58, is the MP for Hayes and Harlington. He chairs the Socialist Campaign Group, a group by the name of Public Services Not Private, and the Labour Representation Committee. He also serves a group of eight large labour unions as their benefactor in Parliament.

McDonnell will likely be the left-wing standard-bearer of the leadership campaign. Among his acts as a left-wing insurgent within the Labour caucus has been joining together with a number of Plaid Cymru MPs to demand an inquiry into the Iraq War that his own party initiated.

One could expect that a McDonnell victory would be the prelude to a significant leftward shift for Labour Party policy.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham, 40, seems to be the heavyweight of the newcomers. He has served as Secretary of State for Health, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, and as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Burnham joined Labour at the tender age of 14, in protest to the Thatcher government's treatment of miners.

However, Burnham was also hit by the recent controversy over MPs' expenses. He attempted to claim 16,000 Pounds Sterling in expenses for a home he had been renovating in London. He submitted the claim on numerous occasions. It was rejected each time.

Whether or not the Labour Party manages to attract additional leadership candidates, the stage has been set for an intriguing leadership campaign.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments, and join the discussion!

Be aware that spam posts and purile nonsense will not be tolerated, although purility within constructive commentary is encouraged.

All comments made by Kevron are deleted without being read. Also, if you begin your comment by saying "I know you'll just delete this", it will be deleted. Guaranteed. So don't be a dumbass.