Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Racing Card

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Racing Card

Article excerpt

The Bet: Who will be the next Speaker?

Margaret Beckett 6-1

David Davis 8-1

Simon Hughes 20-1

Dennis Skinner 100-1

(Source Charlie Whelan)

I watched the election of the new Speaker, Michael Martin, with New Statesman readers in the House of Commons "Strangers Bar". There was never any doubt that there would be only one winner, as Labour MPs were determined to elect "one of their own". There was delight on the faces of Labour MPs as they poured in to the bar and told me that both Gordon Brown and Robin Cook had ignored Blair's pleas -- they refused to vote for the Tory toff Sir George Young, and instead backed their fellow Scot. So much for the theory that Scots would be frozen out of the top jobs at Westminster now that they have their own parliament. P

Political punters could have made a killing at the bookies if they had backed Martin months ago when he was 20-1 with William Hill. …

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