Baker has a cross-party alliance with Tory Richard Shepherd, and Labour’s Mark Fisher and Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams — who have tabled a long list of amendments to the bill.
David Maclean, a Tory MP, introduced this cover-up bill. He’ll be lucky to assemble 100 MPs on a Friday afternoon to stop it being talked out. Guido knows he is a former whip, but he was never that good.
MPs would no doubt want to cover up these types of things.
Reid is wounded but circumstances can change, 40/1 currently on Betfair seems a bit too long a price. Particularly as he still very firmly refuses to rule himself out of the running.
Milburn (100/1) would be humiliated and knows it.
Charle Clarke (50/1) is bitter enough to give it a stab “to encourage a debate”, citing principle rather than ambition.
Nick Robinson has been weighing up Blair’s semantic choices. His PMQs answer to Cameron this week implied that he had not made up his mind when to go. Did he just say that to wind up the Brownites?
Most think he’ll make an announcement after May 3. Presumably he’ll wait until after returning from Stormont on May 8 to bask in the afterglow of perhaps achieving peace in the six counties. (We should not quibble that it is a strange peace that sees the two most extreme parties in power.) So it is possible that he could go see the Queen and tell her of his intentions sometime in early May.
For political punters whether or not it is before or after May 13 is crucial. The leadership process takes 7 weeks. Bets on the timing of his leaving hinge on the date he is no longer leader of the Labour party. If the process starts on May 12 bets will be settled for June, if May 13 bets will be settled for July. Knife edge…
UPDATE : The Mole’s big “exclusive” this morning is the claim that Blair will say he is going on May 9. Could be… but never say never with Blair and our Brownite Mole might be indulging in wishful thinking.
Mike thanked him and being ever polite turned to introduce Oaten, hesitated for a second and quickly said “there is someone you must speak to”, smoothly diverting Oaten away from Guido. Just as well really…
Where was he? Check the Where’s Gordon?™ interactive map.