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Byrne canvasses colleagues

Michael Crick | 18:59 UK time, Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Newsnight has learnt from more than one source that Liam Byrne claims to have approached all but nine of the 256 MPs of the Parliamentary Labour Party in his efforts to get elected to the shadow cabinet.

It's an extraordinary effort, if true. Given that all previous shadow cabinet elections (at least since 1945) have involved slates, I doubt whether anyone has ever personally canvassed a higher proportion of his Labour MP colleagues.

So, one can't fault Byrne for effort. Mind you, if he doesn't get elected something must be badly wrong.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.


    I get the distinct feeling Byrne is one of those people who elicits a silent groan from any group he strides towards - bearing that trademark 'flash radiator grille' grin. He is a true Westminster Creature.

    He will do well.

  • Comment number 3.

    'if he doesn't get elected something must be badly wrong. '

    There are many who would do well to ponder those words.

    From pontificating pols to those who reach out to them fro 'comment' at the drop of a rating.

  • Comment number 4.

    wasn't he the guy who said....'there's no money left'...I'd back him just for his honesty...

  • Comment number 5.

    Byrne - Westminster's very own self-confessed "coffee-addict". But what's so bad about actually meeting other MPs from your own party???

    Then again, anyone actually wanting to be in the Shadow Cabinet needs their head examining - plenty stress, no more money and at least five years slogging away.

  • Comment number 6.

    But Michael, something is badly wrong.....

  • Comment number 7.

    He's a careerist. But then aren't they all either careerists or nutters!

  • Comment number 8.

    You have to forgive him as he's never been in opposition so wont know what the general form is for shad cab elections.

  • Comment number 9.

    As I expected the opposition party have left it to their allies in the media to keep alive the matter of special advisors sharing twin-bedded rooms with government ministers, and the future of a cabinet minister serving in the government of a hypothetical country.

    All I wanted to say before my routine extraction from the site was that whoever you are or were, whoever you say you are, or not, or have ever been, profoundly disappointing as it may seem to those of us who would like people to just be themselves, it should not, by default, suggest that they are not qualified to do the job they have been asked to do. While people who are able to vote, but who take no interest in politics or current global economics, but have inherited an unhealthy degree of homophobia from Dad exist in such a country, is it not beyond comprehension that careerist politicians, on whatever side of a hypothetical house of governance, should be inclined to be circumspect?

    Before I was censored last night I suggested that there should be some kind of screening process. Just for the record, I meant for mental illness likely to endanger the future of the nation. Nothing about sexuality, or understandable reticence concerning matters that should, not unreasonably, always be personal and private should really matter (IHMO).

  • Comment number 10.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    Then again, anyone actually wanting to be in the Shadow Cabinet needs their head examining - plenty stress, no more money and at least five years slogging away


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