Peter Hoskin

When the cat’s away...

When the cat's away...
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Hm.  Seems like Alan Johnson has chosen the day that Gordon's away in Italy to write another comment piece on voting reform.  Like his article for the Times a few months ago, it pushes the AV+ version of proportional representation.  And, like his Times article, it goes out of its way to mention Brown ("I work for a leader who accepts the need for ... renewal"), but it still comes across as an attempt to grab the leadership limelight.  After all, why should the Home Secretary be reiterating points he's made before about voing reform?  Why isn't he leaving this attention-grabbing stuff for his leader who "accepts the need for renewal"?  And why now?

I imagine the reponse from Downing Street - if there is one - will be the same as last time: to welcome this "contribution" to the debate.  But quite a few Brownites will be left unimpressed, if not fuming.  As recent weeks have shown, Johnson isn't willing to wield a knife against the Dear Leader.  But he certainly seems to be keeping his leadership campaign on the boil.  Conference season awaits...