Peter Hoskin

Some wannabe Labour leaders are more equal than others

Some wannabe Labour leaders are more equal than others
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Harriet Harman certainly knows how to grab headlines.  This morning it's her claim, in interview with the Sunday Times, that "Men cannot be left to run things on their own."  Fair enough, you might say, but here's the kicker: Harman also admits that a couple of years ago she tried - unsuccessfully - to change Labour party rules so that there would have to be a woman in one of the "two top jobs" of party leader or deputy party leader.  Chalk it up as yet another step in her merit-be-damned quest for equality of outcome, then.  But one - it must be said - that's slightly less ridiculous than some of her more recent ideas.

The question, of course, is of why she's bringing this up now.  The only answer which springs to mind is that she's trying to position herself for the post-Brown leadership struggle; setting out the case for why Labour need one woman in particular - a certain Harriet Harman - to lead them through the wilderness years.  Whether it convinces Labour folk or not, it's surely a blow for Brown.  I doubt he'll appreciate having his holiday disturbed by a stand-in going on manoeuvres.