So has Alan Johnson taken a first step towards the Labour leadership? He's written a comment piece
on electoral reform for today's Times - and the paper reports it on their frontpage with the headline "Johnson seizes intiative over Labour leadership."
It's hard to disagree. While Johnson makes sure to mention Gordon Brown is his article ("Again the Prime Minister is leading..."
), the measures he outlines are too strident, and the topic too important, for this to be anything other than an attempt to grab the limelight. And while I'm not struck by Johnson's proposed solution - a tweaked version of proportional representation - there are certainly benefits
to running on this kind of platform.
The response from Downing Street will be interesting. Do they sweep this under the carpet? Or do they pass it off as All of Gordon's Doing? Either way, and whatever Johnson's intentions in the first place, this is exactly the kind of thing to ramp up the leadership speculation and encourage others to make their moves. What fun and games.
P.S. Iain Martin wrote a great post on why PR isn't the answer a couple of days ago.