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And then there were five…men

Men only?

Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and John McDonnell have over the last 24 hours officially thrown their hats into the ring in the race for the leadership of the Labour Party bringing the total number of contenders to five including the Miliband brothers.

Four of the five contenders were key advisors at Number 10 and/or the Treasury for some of the last 13 years of a Labour government.

Balls, a former cabinet minister, and close associate of former PM Gordon Brown acted for 10 years as Mr Brown’s chief economics adviser at the Treasury. He played a crucial role in the Blair and Brown administrations. He said:

We’ve got to listen first, (and) hear what the public say. That is what’s going to be at the centrepiece of my campaign.

McDonnell, M.P. for Hayes and Harlington, who is seen as more of left winger announced his candidacy in a speech to the Public and Commercial Services Union saying the race thus far consisted of :

the sons of Blair versus the son of Gordon Brown”

arguing that they are too closely associated with New Labour to bring a new lease of life to the party leadership.

Burnham, who held three cabinet posts under Gordon Brown’s premiership said the party:

must avoid looking like we are disowning the past…but had to be “honest” about why it had lost power. I heard the same echo everywhere I went. People trying to get on in life and do the right thing felt Labour was no longer at their side.

Yesterday, OBV Director, Simon Woolley threw a much needed spanner in the works asking in Guardian comment piece: Where are the MPs with experience in opposition, where are the women MPs, where are the BME MPs? The piece makes the case for veteran Black MP Diane Abbott to stand.


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  1. […] And then there were five…men […]

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