A leading left-wing MP has promised to stand against Gordon Brown when he seeks to succeed Tony Blair. The Independent on Sunday:
"Gordon Brown is warned today that he cannot expect to succeed Tony Blair without a fight for the job of leading the Labour Party and Britain. After a critical week in the transition of power between No 10 and the Treasury, one left-winger said she was prepared to be "humiliated" to ensure a contest. Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said she would reluctantly stand against the runaway favourite if no one else came forward."
The Labour MP believes that the Chancellor should be challenged on his support for Blairite public service reforms and on environmental issues. The IoS notes that one prominent critic of the Blair-Brown record on green issues, Michael Meacher (a long-time environment minister for New Labour), has not ruled out standing himself. "I have said that there should be a contest and that is as far as I am going," Mr Meacher is quoted as saying.
The Sunday Times notes TGWU leader Tony Woodley’s insistence that continuation of the Blairite agenda on public sector reform would be opposed by trades union hardliners.
The ‘Jones promise’ opens up the delicious prospect of a difficult transition from Blair to Brown with lots of Labour squabbling… or does it? Would it give Brown the opportunity to present himself as the champion of moderate Britain – just as Blair has so often triangulated between the Conservatives and the Labour left?