Peter Hoskin

Another name for the hat

Another name for the hat
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First there was Ken, then Peter Mandelson, and now Jon Cruddas is the latest name to be linked with Labour's campaign for the London Mayoralty.  According to the Standard, the Dageneham MP is winning "high level backing" to take on Boris in 2012.

As James said last week, there's every reason to believe that Cruddas will play an important role on Labour's post-election stage.  Sure, his thinking is diametrically opposed to that of most CoffeeHousers – but at least he has some sort of political vision, more or less well-defined.  That alone distinguishes him from many of his colleagues.  Then throw in his general affability, and it's understandable why Cruddas has perhaps greater influence and stature among Labour backbenchers than ever before.  

But is the Mayoralty a step too far?  Ignoring any contests with other Labour figures and perhaps with Boris himself, I reckon the biggest impediment for Cruddas is the mechanism by which he might join the race.  The Standard reports that he would only do so if he lost his Dagenham seat (current majority: 7,605), which is certainly a possibility judging by the swings we've seen in recent by-elections.  But losing out in a London constituency would hardly be the best start to a bid for running the entire capital.