The Spectator

No contest

No contest
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To put today’s coronation of Gordon Brown as Labour leader into historical perspective -  with the exception of leaders who have stepped into the breach temporarily after deaths (George Brown after Hugh Gaitskell, and Margaret Beckett after John Smith), there has not been an uncontested succession since George Lansbury took the helm in October 1931. “On going to the first Party meeting after the election,” recalled Clement Attlee in his memoirs, “I had a message from Arthur Henderson that George Lansbury would be proposed as Leader and myself as Deputy. These nominations went through without opposition.” New Labour, old stitch-up.