Barry Gardiner’s elephant

Since they got (back) to Westminster, Labour MPs have been assaulted by a relentless barrage of vote-begging letters from their Parliamentary colleagues. There are or have been elections for the leadership, the deputy speakerships, all party groups, backbench committees and a host of select committee chairs. There are shadow cabinet and select committee membership elections to come.

Everybody is sick of it.  Most of the letters are dull and unremarkable.  There has generally been no reason to inflict them on Uncut readers.

There are two that stick out, though.

First is Geraint Davies’s bid to chair the BIS committee, which we think is the best. We also admire his chutzpah in running for the chair of a big committee when he’s only been back in the House for ten minutes after an absence of five years.  (He lost his seat in Croydon in 2005, but was elected in Swansea West last month).  Genial to the point of insanity, the previous Geraint Davies was not always taken as seriously as he might have been.  The new incarnation is hitting the ground running.

The other is Barry Gardiner’s letter seeking support as chair of the environmental audit committee.  The Brent North MP, super-courtly to the point of being slightly mannered, also has excellent credentials for the job.

His letter, though, is notable because it is headed by a big picture of an elephant.  As far as we can tell, this is a first.

The elections are today.  MPs have till 5pm to shuffle along to committee room 5 and cast their votes.  They are supposed to recuse themselves from voting for chairs of select committees for whose departments they have front bench responsibilities.

The members of each select committee will also be elected, within parties, later.

MPs love these kind of elections, in which the actual electorate is not involved.  The current flurry of elections is a great consolation to Labour MPs.  It really does take their mind off having lost the election.

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