Friday News Review

Narrow field

“Concerns have been voiced about the narrow field. Some MPs wish it included women such as Yvette Cooper or Harriet Harman, a free-thinking backbencher such as Jon Cruddas or an elder statesman in the mould of Jack Straw.” – The Times

“That they are all white may be inconsequential; it may be of only passing interest that all were political advisers under new Labour and that none has had a proper job; it is probably of only minor significance that they all used to play football together. Probably more salient is that you cannot put a cigarette paper between their beliefs. But most blindingly obvious is that there will not be a single woman on the ballot paper.” – Diane Abbott


Harriet Harman calls for a 50/50 Shadow Cabinet

“Labour’s acting leader today called for half of the party’s shadow cabinet to be made up of female MPs. Harriet Harman said it is time for “Labour women to step out of the shadows” and for the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to revise its rules governing the make-up of the Opposition.” – The Times

“Ms Harman also urged Labour MPs to nominate Diane Abbott to make sure there was at least one woman in the leadership race. She said: “Women in the Parliamentary Labour Party must no longer be in the shadows. I am going to be proposing that when we renew the rules for the shadow cabinet elections that we have 50-50 men and women.”” – The Mirror

“Ed Miliband has strengthened his pledge to promote women to senior political jobs by supporting a plan to ensure half of the party’s new shadow Cabinet team is female. Labour’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, announced she would be campaigning for a change to the party’s rules that would see 11 out of the 22 shadow posts given to women.” – The Independent

The third man

“It tells it as I saw it, working off the detailed notes, papers and diaries that I kept throughout my career,” he said. Describing the Blair-Brown feud as a “soap opera”, he said his account would contain a lot of emotion as well as historical detail.” – The Evening Standard

“Lord Mandelson, who wrote an article for The Times yesterday, adopting the lofty, gracious tones of Winston or Margaret in old age. The forthcoming Labour leadership contest, he said, will be the first since Michael Foot’s day in which he himself is not playing a role. It is a fine thing, he asserted indulgently, to have ‘a proper election between individuals’.” – The Daily Mail

“Lord Mandelson will this summer rush out the most eagerly anticipated political memoirs in many years amid a flurry of books by key Labour figures including Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, and perhaps Alistair Darling.” – The FT

Local Labour

“TOWN Hall finance chiefs will defy gloomy economic warnings and move to raise the pay of the lowest earners who deliver council services. The new Labour cabinet in charge of Camden want to end a “blind eye” culture of ignoring what companies hired by the council pay their staff by demanding they give a higher basic rate.” – The Camden New Journal


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