Picture 7 The Guardian is reporting that Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas will not be throwing his hat into the ring for the Labour leadership.

The paper states:

His announcement, in the comment pages of the Guardian following a
weekend of soul searching, will disappoint those hoping his candidacy
would broaden the range in the contest. His decision currently
leaves only two candidates in the field: David and Ed Miliband,
although Ed Balls and Andy Burnham are still assessing their support.

his Guardian article, Cruddas admits frankly: "Hand on heart, I do not
want to be leader of the Labour party or subsequently prime minister.
These require certain qualities I do not possess. The role of
leader is one of the greatest honours imaginable – but it is not a
bauble to aspire for. It is a duty to fulfil. I do not feel that I am
in a position to deliver on the hopes and expectations that will be
placed in the next leader."

Although he writes that he has felt
humbled by the support shown for his possible candidacy, he makes it
clear that he is interested in helping the party develop a renewed
culture of organising – a possible hint that he would like an official
role, perhaps as party chairman, a post currently held by the deputy
leader, Harriet Harman.

His withdrawal from the race leaves something of a void as far as the Centre-Left of the party are concerned, while it is also difficult to imagine a hardline Left-winger like John McDonnell managing to attain the requisite number of signatures to stand (he couldn't get enough support to challenge Brown in 2007).

Jonathan Isaby

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