That well known vote winner Neil Kinnock has ridden to Ken’s rescue today by signing a letter demanding Labour fall into line and vote for him. He seems to have changed his tune from 2000 when he lashed out at Ken’s disloyalty, telling Kevin Maguire of the Guardian:
“Ken Livingstone has only ever belonged to one party – the Ken Livingstone party”
Other signatories include Alastair Campbell, who once described Ken as an “egomaniac” and did everything he could to stop him coming to power in 2000. Though plenty of London MPs have signed the letter, it’s interesting to note that neither Diane Abbott or Meg Hillier have done so. Perhaps the two Hackney MPs still remember what their predecessor Brian Sedgemore had to say about Ken:
“Ken is a sad and lonely figure. He continually portrays himself as a victim when he is in fact a destructive manipulator. If you slice him through the middle what you see is a man whose heart does not pump for the Labour party but who is completely obsessed with himself. I don’t see why London has to suffer because he hasn’t fulfilled his ambition to be party leader.”
Meanwhile, as the Standard comes out for Boris, more well-known lefties are running for the hills today. The Indy’s John Rentoul and Dan Hodges have both declared that in this two-horse race it has to be Boris. Peter Hain is leading the public charge against them.
Because he’s never changed sides…
UPDATE: Oh dear Peter. Lets turn to page 159/60 of Hain’s autobiography Outside In:
“I wanted to be effective, to be able to make a real difference. And that meant learning what not to do from Ken Livingstone … he seemed to go out of his way to make enemies.”
A good spot by Though Cowards Flinch.