David Blackburn

Labour’s future 

Labour's future 
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Sky’s Jon Craig has the scoop that a rump of Blairite MPs and former ministers have formed a group called Labour Future.

Headed by Charles Clarke and featuring Malcolm Wicks, Nick Raynsford, Denis Macshane, Parmjit Dhanda, Hugh Bayley, Meg Munn and crony-in-chief Charlie Falconer, this club's terms of membership are intense anti-Brown sentiment, and I wonder what the Foreign Secretary makes of this daring little coven? Craig’s informant has loftier ambitions: “It’s about setting out our agenda for the future and showing that Labour is not intellectually dead”.

The underreported story of the summer was the suppression of Blairite thinking from Labour’s public discourse. James Purnell has been completely marginalised and Alan Milburn’s social mobility report barely made out of the envelope before being ceremonially canned. Meanwhile, Ed Balls, John Cruddas and Harriet Harman made a string of pitches to the left. This group is a provocative reaction to that exclusion, and it exacerbates the sense that Labour's tribes are destined for post-election internecine confrontation.