Caroline Flint

Jim Pickard

You may think it’s still months away. But the manoeuvrings have already begun.

Up to 40 Labour MPs are likely to put themselves forward for the shadow cabinet elections this autumn including ambitious younger figures such as David Lammy, Kevin Brennan, Tom Harris and Barbara Keeley.

Others who have indicated their ambition to stand include Phil Woollas, John Healey, Caroline Flint, Chris Bryant, Jon Cruddas and Angela Eagle. So too has Stephen Twigg (pictured), despite only having been re-elected to Parliament last month.

The internal elections won’t take place until after the new party leader is chosen in late September. The breadth of field in the contest – with many low-profile MPs entering the fray – could mean a distinct change in Labour’s public profile as new faces take on more responsibility. Read more

Jim Pickard

You may have noted the mock horror from Labour about IDS’s comments to the Sunday Telegraph yesterday that those on benefits may need to travel to work. It’s described by the Labour-supporting Mirror as an “extreme Norman Tebbit-style ‘on yer bike’ policy“.

Here is a link to the interview when Caroline Flint two years ago suggested that unemployed people getting housing benefit should, in effect, be turfed out. She was, of course, the Labour housing minister. It appears to be exactly the same policy. What goes around comes around. Read more