I have just been tipped off that no fewer than 11 ministerial aides have signed the motion opposing Lord Mandelson’s part-privatisation of the Royal Mail.
Given that parliamentary private secretaries (PPSs) tend not to sign early day motions under Parliamentary convention, this is a striking facet of the rebellion. The EDM has now hit 132 Labour signatures.
Perhaps most interesting is that Laura Moffatt, PPS to Alan Johnson, is one of the 11. Johnson, as a former head of the Communication Workers Union, has denied having concerns about Mandelson’s plans. Is this his way of sending out a covert signal?
Here are the 11:
David Wright (PPS to John Hutton), Laura Moffatt (Alan Johnson), David Anderson (Bill Rammell), Claire Curtis-Thomas (Baroness Scotland of Asthal), David Hamilton (Ed Miliband), Mark Hendrick (Jack Straw), Stephen Hesford (Vera Baird), Sharon Hodgson (Dawn Primarolo), Ashok Kumar (Hilary Benn), John Mann (Tessa Jowell), Stephen Pound (Stephen Timms)
But here is the big question: Do any of them care enough to resign from their jobs (sic)?
Moffatt hasn’t been PPS to Johnson since October (though presumably they are still allies). Also (apparently) no longer in post are Claire Curtis-Thomas, David Wright and John Mann. Apologies if true.