The influence of political betting

According to notes left on a Westminster photocopier this week, the Times’ political editor only agreed to this big story on the emergence of Jon Cruddas being written after being told that Hills had brought the odds on the Dagenham MP in from 125/1 to 8/1.  It wasn’t the “soundings” that some took from the Treasury, or conversations with MPs, that made the Times see Cruddas as serious, it was odds from the local bookies. 

So it was with interest that we read Mike Smithson’s article at this morning (hat-tip to HenryG).  Following a long chat with Tony Dubbins, deputy general secretary of Amicus, Smithson told his avid readers to back Cruddas with all the cash they can lay their hands on:

Naturally we talked a lot about the Labour leadership and it would be wrong for me to write about what was a private conversation. All I can say is that my first action on getting home last night was to put as much as the bookmakers would allow me on Jon Cruddas for the Deputy’s job. You can still get 8/1. Take it.

The Daily has already put its entire petty cash pot on Cruddas, but that’s not much: the editorinchief only lets us have £5 a week for tea and biscuits.


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