8 Sep 2010

Gordon Brown asks for a role at Labour leadership unveiling

Labour unveils its new leader on the Saturday ahead of Labour Conference in Manchester and Gordon Brown has asked to be the warm-up man.

I hear that the former Labour leader feels very wounded by the Tony Blair memoirs’ attacks on his premiership, aspects of his Chancellorship and his personality.

He doesn’t want his supporters retaliating strongly to the Blair book in public this side of the Labour Conference. But few in active politics have a stronger sense or knowledge of British political history and he feels that it would be undignified to be wiped out of the plot like a Kremlin touched-up photo from the Soviet era.

He feels, I hear, that it is right that he be seen to say some words before the new leader is unveiled and be seen to hand over the torch. 

He doesn’t want people to think he is cowed or hiding. Final arrangements, a Labour source said, have not been agreed yet and they are “in touch” with the various leadership candidates. 

Not, you might think, the curtain-raiser that David Miliband’s campaign would most want for the new dawn, if it’s their man that wins.

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