The Next Labour Leader

John Rentoul

tristram 300x168 The Next Labour LeaderIt could be Tristram Hunt, I suggest in The Independent on Sunday today. He has had a remarkable seven days.

My record of prediction in such matters is not good, often confusing what should happen with what will happen, and several correspondents have pointed out that it is quite unlikely that Labour will change leader before the election. I know that. As we discovered under Gordon Brown, the mechanism for a coup by Labour MPs is uncertain.

My article was an attempt to answer a different question, namely who will become leader if Labour loses the election? But I pointed out that Miliband’s position becomes more tenuous before the election if there is a credible alternative leader on the scene, as opposed to in New York.

I was nervous about my assessment that Hunt had made such a spectacular advance, from being an okayish new frontbencher to a leadership contender. I don’t know much about what other MPs think of him. He is quite posh, and quite untested.

So I was reassured to hear from one Labour MP that Hunt’s performance “has not gone unnoticed” in the Parliamentary Labour Party, and to be told: “Hallelujah, there is hope yet.”

(And thanks to Rachel Henry, the sub-editor who came up with the “Tristram’s Handy” headline. Genius.)

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  • mightymark

    Well, on the basis of many others over the years similarly singled out for this accolade I think Tristram’s chances have now been well and truly scuppered here!

  • chrishaines47

    There is a dearth of talent in Labour. Hunt best of a bad bunch. Why not Harperson, Berger or Abbott?

  • newfriendofed

    There are times when the very asking of a question can be unnecessarily divisive. Yesterday’s column seemed such a case, particularly as it appeared to row back on a midweek blog in which J. R. seemed to realize, for once, that he had been too harsh on Ed.

  • greggf

    Yeah, Tony Abbott would make a great Labour leader and probably become PM….but isn’t he a Liberal……er?

  • chrishaines47

    Diane Abbott (Hackney) I met her 1981/5 after the Brixton uprising, she is sooo anti white racist.

  • ZacMurdoch

    “Hallelujah, there is hope yet.”
    I expect that was Tom Harris.

  • reformist lickspittle

    Kiss of death if there ever was, that ;)

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