Sheerman, chair of the education select committee, was very critical of Gordon Brown at the time of the June rebellion. He has admitted that he has been considering standing against Tony Lloyd to become chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party at its first meeting of the new political year – ie tomorrow night.
What makes this interesting is that Sheerman made clear that he wanted this to be a proxy vote for or against the prime minister. If enough people voted for him it would be a cunning way to register the depth of frustration, dislike, hatred or apathy towards Mr Brown – without the bloodbath of a real leadership challenge. That was his theory.