The Next Leader of the Opposition

Even though the next contest is not even on the horizon, the next Labour Leader can be one of only 47 MPs. For it surely cannot be anyone who, knowing they were acting against the country’s best interests, voted for the Brexit Bill last night.

I agree with the view it will not be long before this act is seen as toxic in the Labour party, and I am willing to bet complicity will yet prove fatal to leadership ambitions. There is certainly no way I will be voting for any of those who acted against their conscience in this (or who pleaded the Brexit flu). Of course, I’m not likely to vote for any of the Labour leavers either, but at least they were showing some kind of leadership…

I feel sad about this, particularly as I voted for Yvette Campbell in the last leadership contest. Despite a lacklustre campaign, I thought she would have made a good Prime Minister. (Indeed, I hoped she would win the 2010 contest up until it became clear she wasn’t going to stand.) But last night has shown she is clearly not suited to be a leader.

The pool from which any leaders might be drawn has therefore been whittled down from an already diminished Parliamentary Labour Party to just 47.

Whilst many will have no ambitions in that direction, there are fortunately some great potential leadership candidates among them. My personal choice would be Stella Creasy, a formidable campaigner, a fount of good sense, and someone who may actually be capable of formulating a vision for the future of the centre-left where so many others have given up in favour of rehashing the past.

But there are plenty of others, too – Mary Creagh, a contender last time round, Maria Eagle, Heidi Alexander, and many more.

Anyway, to all 47 who had the conviction to vote against what plenty of others also realise will be a disaster, thank you:

  • Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
  • Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)
  • Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
  • Rosena Allin-Khan (Tooting)
  • Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree)
  • Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
  • Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West)
  • Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton)
  • Lyn Brown (West Ham)
  • Chris Bryant (Rhondda)
  • Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North)
  • Dawn Butler (Brent Central)
  • Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth)
  • Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley)
  • Ann Coffey (Stockport)
  • Neil Coyle (Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
  • Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)
  • Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West)
  • Mary Creagh (Wakefield)
  • Stella Creasy (Labour (Co-op) – Walthamstow)
  • Stephen Doughty (Labour (Co-op) – Cardiff South and Penarth)
  • Jim Dowd (Lewisham West and Penge)
  • Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood)
  • Mrs Louise Ellman (Labour (Co-op) – Liverpool, Riverside)
  • Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
  • Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford)
  • Mike Gapes (Labour (Co-op) – Ilford South)
  • Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)
  • Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood)
  • Meg Hillier (Labour (Co-op) – Hackney South and Shoreditch)
  • Peter Kyle (Hove)
  • David Lammy (Tottenham)
  • Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) – York Central)
  • Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)
  • Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)
  • Mrs Madeleine Moon (Bridgend)
  • Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
  • Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall)
  • Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)
  • Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith)
  • Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington)
  • Owen Smith (Pontypridd)
  • Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)
  • Stephen Timms (East Ham)
  • Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green)
  • Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test)
  • Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge)

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See for more...

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