Gardiner is preparing a run after being approached (among others) by Len McCluskey, who has been speaking to a number of other potential candidates, as he isn’t convinced Rebecca Long Bailey can win.
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) January 8, 2020
Lewis Goodall was delighted to break his exclusive last night that there may be an unexpected seventh entrant to the Labour leadership contest – Barry Gardiner. If he does enter, he’ll remarkably find himself behind even Lady Nugee…
Around an hour later, Kevin Schofield managed to get in contact with Barry, and confirm that he is “clueless” (not generally, somehow about this supposed run for Labour Leader) and is currently in the Middle East at a climate change conference in Abu Dhabi.
I have just spoken to @BarryGardiner who is in Abu Dhabi. Barry is as surprised as I am by this @lewis_goodall. We’re both clear that fake news and tricks like this will not be allowed to undermine any candidate’s campaign.
— Len McCluskey (@LenMcCluskey) January 8, 2020
Scrambling to stand up his story, Goodall eventually ascertained that Gardiner is weighing up a leadership bid, though Len McCluskey says it’s ‘utter nonsense” that he’s backing Barry as originally claimed. The Shadow International Trade Secretary confirmed he is weighing up his options in running against Corbyn’s presumed successor, arguing he “isn’t convinced Rebecca Long Bailey can win”. The farce is completely typical of Gardiner, showing ankle after the PLP hustings, wounding Becky, somehow getting support from Corbynista outriders despite having supported the Iraq war. LOLabour…