This week we learned the timescale for the election of the new leader of the Labour Party. Nominations have to be in by late May, and then we have nearly four months before the result of the ballot is announced in late September. I think this is crazy!
Some colleagues will relish the opportunity for plenty of discussion and debate, but I feel that, having lost the election, we need to quickly re-establish ourselves and move one. Without an official leader we will not be taken seriously, even if we are in the safe hands of Harriet Harman, good though she will undoubtedly be. I would have preferred a month of campaigning, and an election in July, with a new leader in place well before the end of the summer. Instead, discussions will drag on interminably, and the press will have a field day (or perhaps that should be a field four months?)
As for choice of the new leader, as I have said previously, I am backing David Miliband as the best person to unite the party and regain the confidence of any voters who deserted us earlier this month. I hope he will win the leadership election, but I have a long frustrating wait before finding out if he has!