Last week, on the final day of submission for the Labour nomination as Mayoral candidate for 2012, l backed Ken. That’s not surprising as we need a serious heavyweight to challenge Boris in 2012 and show what he’s been up to since 2008. We also do not want a coronation like we did in the Labour Party when Gordon Brown took over as leader of the Party and as a result PM of the UK. A challenge then would have given Gordon and the party an opportunity to talk about where we were going in government well before the 2010 General Election defeat. Importantly, if the party had done that it would have helped Gordon keep all those who subsequently challenged his authority in Downing St off his back and undermined him in office. As he would have been able to say, why are you challenging me now when you had the opportunity during the leadership contest. So in this respect Oona is doing us a great service in the London Labour Party by challenging Ken, as he’ll have to respond to a more youthful and diverse reflection of London than he has previously.
In the meantime, we are hearing the first indications that Boris will stand again. Quite honestly that is not surprising as l am not sure where else he has got to go now that his party is in power in the coalition government. (It would have been better for him if the Tories had lost, prompting a challenge for the leadership though he would have had to get back into the Commons). Clearly he expects it to last beyond 2012 and with his push for new powers to the mayoralty he is showing some interest in what the position can do beyond its present confines.