I have made my views very clear on the Labour leadership and the way in which he/she is being chosen. The hybrid electoral system is nonsense. My preference is for a full primary of Labour voters, as I carried out in 2010 and am doing again. Alternatively the existing members should have decided.
However, we are where we are and my warnings of how people like the Bassetlaw UKIP chairman could enrol were not heeded when these changes were made.
Whoever is leader will have my support- but it is payment by results. A loser is no good to me, to Labour voters and to social justice in the country. Next year gives the opportunity for the new Labour leader to prove themselves.
Unusually the whole of Britain has a vote and the bottom line is very clear.
- The new Labour leader has to win us the London Mayor. Anything else is in resignation territory. In fact we should win by a huge margin post Boris Johnson and considering the changing profile of London. This therefore is an unarguable given.
- We must win total control of the Welsh Assembly. Again this is no-brainer. Anything else in the current economic climate would be a disaster and we should confidently sweep to a majority control.
- We must win additional English police commissioners and obviously hold on to the few we have currently. Considering how badly we did last time a minimum of six extra police commissioners is the bottom line, with huge majorities in those we currently hold.
- In Scotland we ought to win back control, but the bottom line needs to understand how effective SNP campaigning has been. It would be wonderful to win back control, but the real bottom line that we have to meet is for Labour to be the largest party in the A Scottish Parliament.
These are the bottom line requirements of the new leader. Some, notably Jeremy Corbyn, has hinted he could beat this bottom line and win back Scotland, but I think that is too high a target.
The four objectives will stabilise the Labour Party and give us a proper base for preparing for the 2020 General Election.
I believe that Yvette Cooper is the best choice to achieve this and I strongly recommend her. Whoever wins will have more loyalty from me than the likes of Diane Abbott have ever given any Labour leader, but all these four electoral outcomes for 2016, as listed above, are the only acceptable test of leadership success.
And for those asking, will I accept a position under all the potential leaders. Well I have never begged, asked or suggested myself for any front bench position. However I will take on responsibility for tackling child abuse, its current manifestations and historic cover ups from any Labour leader who asks. But I will not be covering up any of Labour’s skeletons on this.