Thursday, July 06, 2006

If Prescott resigns

Prescott on the Today this morning:
"If I resign now there doesn’t have to be an election."
Quite so, but there would have to be one at the party conference. From the Labour Party Rule Book (which is apparently password-protected. What have they got to hide?):
When the party is in government and the deputy leader, for whatever reason, becomes permanently unavailable, the Cabinet may, in consultation with the NEC, appoint one of its members to serve as deputy leader until the next party conference. The Cabinet may alternatively, in consultation with the NEC, leave the post vacant until the next party conference.
A deputy leadership election would make a contest for the leadership more likely so that the whole divisive business could be dealt with in one go. I expect the Brownites and the anti-Blair left will be keen to capitalise if any new Prescott revelations find their way into the papers over the next few days. If they fancy their chances of taking Blair out they will need a nominee with the support of at least a fifth of Labour MPs:
Where there is no vacancy, nominations shall be sought each year prior to the annual session of party conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the
Commons members of the PLP. Nominations not attaining this
threshold shall be null and void.
If there are no elections at the 2006 conference none can be triggered until the 2007 conference (unless Blair resigns).

(Another quote from the Prescott interview:
"I think it's called the internet or blogs or something. I've only just got used to letters, John. I haven't got into all this new technology."
He makes a virtue of his ignorance and then wonders why people think he's stupid.)


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