The joke doing the rounds this morning in Labour circles is:
“Rupert Murdoch has three months to take out the trash. If he wanted to kill someone he could probably get away with it. Tom is now so obsessed with Corby he thinks it’s Ed’s Crewe.”
Labour sources tell Guido that they are determined not to see a repeat of their Bradford by-election shambles. Former Brownite boot-boys Watson and Ian Austin are off to Louise Mensch’s old constituency, along with half the party staff. They’ve despatched a team to find a decent office as at the moment they are working from the Labour Club. Gordon Paterson, former Labour Yorkshire organiser, is in charge of field operations at the moment and will probably be the agent. Labour confirmed to Guido last night that leave has already been cancelled. Dozens of HQ staff have been told they have to go up there full time.
Political advisers and the policy team are rather grumpy because they are being told there will be daily mini-buses from London and that they are all expected to be on them. Ed has also told staff in the leader’s office that he wants them up there: “some of them don’t mind to be honest because nice to be out of office but others moaning.” One insider even says there has been talk of conference being scaled back. General Secretary Iain McNicol has apparently told staff that Corby is the single biggest party priority now until November. Everything else is now secondary, including Police Commissioner elections.
Gone is the complacency of Bradford and it’s all hands to the deck. Obviously that is not what they are saying publicly though – as Guido revealed last night - the line is “we’re not going to win”.
Thankfully the candidate has deigned to cut short his south of France holiday and is out on the stump.
Better late than never…