The Anti-Iraq war rebel John McDonnell looks like he may get the backing required to see his name on the Ballot Paper this week. Can the Left-winger McDonnell really give Gordon Brown a serious fight? Though popular opinion seems to give him little chance he remains doggedly optimistic. McDonnell will undoubtedly receive the support of many anti-war backbenchers but his hopes of victory depend on his popularity with the Unions and Constituency members.
I can't help feeling that Gordon could be in for a bit of a shock. Coming so soon after the devastating local elections and with polls showing a dip in Labour popularity since Tony Blair announced his step down, members may feel that it's time to put a new jockey in the Labour Party saddle. Many, no doubt, would like to see that jockey's colours a deeper shade of red.
Gordon is said to be keen for a leadership contest, which would be an ideal vehicle to get his policies and visions across to the general public. When it comes down to it Gordon is almost guaranteed to win but will it be by a big enough margin to deal the final blow that sees Old Labour wiped off the political map?
John McDonnell, backbencher and Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington.
Educated at Brunel University; London, John’s previous occupation was as a Local Government officer. John has released his leadership manifesto entitled "Another World is Possible: A Manifesto for 21st Century Socialism." McDonnell says: "I think there's a real demand for change, to learn the lessons of the last 10 years and build on that, and learn from the mistakes." That's a lot of learning John.
A definite rebel, John has voted against the his party on 80 (25.1%) occasions out of 319 votes (71% attendance - average).
For the year 2005/2006 John cost the Tax payer £131,427 in expenses.