Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Harman Is Labour's Nightmare

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Harman Is Labour's Nightmare

Article excerpt

Byline: COMMENTARY JOE MURPHY POLITICAL EDITOR

SECRETLY, guiltily, tentatively, the Cabinet is beginning to plan for the post-Gordon age.

None but a fool would openly jockey for the party leadership at this stage. But political reality means that the big players, who make their reputations by thinking 10 steps ahead of everyone else, must consider who will wear the crown if Labour is cast out of power.

The dread now being spoken aloud is that Harriet Harman could, with the support of trade union allies, the soft Left and women activists, trounce them all. "My head says it cannot possibly happen," says one minister. "But my guts say it is possible -- and the consequences would be far worse than people realise.

"You would be looking at a generation of our best young talent packing their bags and leaving front-line politics rather than waste time in a shadow cabinet led by her. We would be out of power for at least a decade because she could not win a general election. …

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