Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Alistair Darling and Jon Cruddas rule themselves out of Labour leadership battle

The former Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that he will resign from frontbench politics after more than 20years of amazing public service. He was one of only three figures who remained in the Cabinet during Labour’s 13 years in office, along with Gordon Brown and Jack Straw.
He said in a statement: “I’ve been on the front benches for 22 of the last 23 years. I have been on the Government’s front bench for the last 13 years, it has been an honour and a tremendous privilege, but I believe it is time for me to return to the back benches". Although he did not say who he was backing for Labour Leader.

Meanwhile leadership hopeful Jon Cruddas ruled himself out of the Labour leadership election, saying "to go into this must be on the basis of running to win and hand on heart I do not want to be leader of the Labour Party or subsequently Prime Minister, these require certain qualities I do not possess".
Mr Cruddas, who turned down the offer of a job in Mr Brown's government in 2007, indicated he would like to take up some kind of role alongside the next leader instead. There has been talk in union circles he could become party chairman and help work on rebuilding it's base.