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Nick Brown and the whip hand

John Rentoul

22 nick brown 997303c 300x187 Nick Brown and the whip handAs the fastest riser at no 7 in the Total Politics media blogs chart (respect to Iain Martin, straight in at no 3), despite my specific instructions to readers not to take part in unrepresentative voodoo internet polls, I had better write something.

I have had my nose in a book for the past week, so I haven’t been following real life. But I did notice that Labour MPs have provisionally decided (the changes have to be finally approved by a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party next week) that they should elect their chief whip once at the start of a parliament rather than annually. The rest of the Shadow Cabinet (apart from the leader, deputy leader and Lords) will be elected biennially rather than every year.

The chief whip change was described to me by one Westminster hand as the “Nick Brown Job For Life” amendment. It certainly gives Nick Brown (above), almost certain to be elected unopposed, a remarkable degree of power. If the new leader is not up to the mark, he will be able to organise against him, undistracted by the need to canvass votes for his own re-election.

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  • http://twitter.com/charlesbarry Charles Barry

    What book are you reading?

  • takeoman

    I think we can all be fairly sure Rentoul J. is reading the no.1 fantasy best seller A Journey, can’t we Charles?

  • http://iradar666.blogspot.com/ iRadar

    I’d be surprised if John doesn’t know it off by heart by now.


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