There’s a very interesting piece in the Times on the Labour Deputy Leadership contest. It seems that Cruddas is picking up the early momentum in a contest.
The Times reports that:
Jon Cruddas, the MP for Dagenham, will steal a march on his rivals tomorrow, opening his campaign at Dagenham and Redbridge football club. His first public parliamentary backers are Jon Trickett, chairman of the Compass group of MPs, and David Crausby, chairman of the Amicus group of trade union MPs.
He is opening campaign headquarters at Waterloo and has hired two workers, who are about to head off to Washington for a week to learn tips about internet and community campaigning from Democrats.
Having jumped from a 125/1 outsider (damn I wish I’d got those odds), to 8/1 (still a very generous price, we think) he seems to be the rising star in the contest. Especially important is the support of the Chair of the Compass Group, and more importantly the Amicus Group of MPs.
David Crausby’s backing would appear to show support from Amicus at a high level within the union. Amicus are the UK’s most powerful political operator among the trade unions. In itself, this shows Cruddas to be a serious candidate.
The article also suggests that Cruddas has realised the potential of US netroots-style campaigning. He has not done much of this so far, so the jury is out – but sending staff to the States to learn the lessons of 2004 and the midterms is a start.
Opinion: The credible but grassroots-led campaign that Jon is promising is exactly what the Labour Party needs to renew itself in government. It is vital that we recognise the party needs a breath of fresh air to revive it. We at The Daily see Jon’s campaign as a huge opportunity, not just to have the real debate we need about where we go next, but to win for progressives within the party. That is why we are endorsing Jon Cruddas for the deputy leadership.