Prescott on the deputy leader election

Prescott got stuck into the debate over who should replace him yesterday:

“Deputy [Labour] leaders are there … to help the connection between the Labour party and the government, and to reorganise. I’m not sure every candidate seems to have in mind that they just want to be a deputy [Labour] leader. I think probably they might well want to be the deputy prime minister, but I remind them, that is the decision of the person who becomes the prime minister.”

There’s only one candidate who has said they would be a fill-time deputy leader and decline any government portfolio. 

If Prescott would like to add a “I’m backing Cruddas” logo to his website, he should click here.

13 Responses to Prescott on the deputy leader election

  1. Paul Linford says:

    Thought you might spot that, but suggesting that the next PM would be perfectly within his rights not to make the deputy leader DPM really was a monumental piece of hypocrisy by Prescott. He would not have been all that chuffed if Blair had denied HIM the title, would he?

  2. Very true – but that’s John being John surely.

    Prescott has a fair point though, and whoever people are backing, it is a fair question to ask the candidates what they would do if Brown decided he doesnt want a DPM.

  3. HenryG says:

    I reckon Brown would be quite at ease with a Cruddas victory and then deciding who he wants to be his deputy. All the other declared candidates seem to be using the deputy leadership contest to strengthen their arm in being Gordon’s number 2.

    For what it’s worth I can imagine him seriously considering abolishing the post and its trappings, opening up Dorneywood to the public and saving the taxpayer a bob or two. Very Gordon. If it also centralises power in his office then that’d be one of those helpful coincidences that happens in politics from time to time.

  4. traffic.One says:

    for the purposes of clarification, would be nice to see a job spec for the post.

  5. JM says:

    Good on Prezza. The points he makes are exactly why I too am backing Jon Cruddas for Deputy Leader. It’s time we put the party first.

  6. “Very true – but that’s John being John surely.”

    No, John being John usually involves a left-hook.

  7. Paul Linford says:

    One possible Machiavellian interpretation of all this is that Brown wants Straw as his deputy, which I think is plausible enough given that Hain, Johnson, Benn and Blears would all be viewed as potential PMs-in-waiting if they got the job. The only problem is, Straw is very unlikely to win now that there are so many other candidates in the field.

    So how does Gordy go about getting Straw as his deputy? Simple. He backs Cruddas for deputy leader in the knowledge that he doesn’t want the DPM job, thereby allowing Straw to become de facto DPM by virtue of his position as Leader of the House.

  8. HenryG says:

    Interesting theory Paul. If we start seeing the odd Brownite MP line up behind Cruddas then I’d say it could be quite a likely scenario. Jack certainly has the gravitas as an ex Foreign Sec to pull it off. Plus I’m sure he could trade substantial political goodwill with the large unions by allowing his camp to back Cruddas in exchange for their backing in a leadership contest.

    It looks like Jon Cruddas could well become the ‘stop Johnson candidate’ in this contest. I don’t see where Benn, Blears, Harman or Hain fit in anymore – they’ll only draw away support from each other. If one thing is clear, it’s that Johnson is the Blairite that Brownites will want to seriously avoid.

  9. Bob Piper says:

    “There’s only one candidate who has said they would be a fill-time deputy leader and decline any government portfolio.”

    Which rather begs the question: If Gordon wants the Deputy Leader to be Deputy PM… he would presumably tell colleagues he would not want them to support Cruddas, wouldn’t he?

  10. Benjamin says:

    Prescott strikes me as the kind of guy who likes the trappings of office.

  11. Yes, and the trimmings as well.

  12. Scrybe says:

    For once, Prescott says/does something correct and constructive.

  13. elephunt says:

    If the job of deputy leader is to help the connection between the Labour Party and the government I’d suggest Prescott has been a miserable failure in that very same role…

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