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Monday, October 30, 2006

Another deputy leadership candidate

Nye Bevan will challenge for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party, according to inside government sources.

The shock move has surprised those who thought he was dead. Party officials cast doubt on his chances, saying only MPs can challenge for the role. But the Labour legend was quick to respond, saying he was never deselected by his constituency party and would mount a legal challenge to take up his seat in the Commons.

To get on the ballot paper, Bevan must secure the nominations of 44 Labour MPs. Coincidentally, this is the exact number who have not announced they will stand for the position.

The move threatens to derail the Peter Hain campaign. The anti-apartheid campaigner has already seen his support drop after a series of people much better than him announced their candidature. Hain is seen as a unifying candidate: both left and right think him slimy and untrustworthy.

But campaigners questioned Nye’s record. According to a Lib Dem website, Bevan is “very old” compared to “not very young” and “very much Welsh” compared to “not English”.

Bookmakers made him fourth favourite for the post at 11/1, behind Hilary “Silent” Benn (3/1), Harriet “Woman” Harman (9/2) and John “ ” Cruddas (9/1).

About Me

Back after an extended exile from blogging. Depressing to be in opposition but likely to prompt more posts here.