So it is official – there will be no competition, but rather, a coronation. Britain’s Finance Minister Gordon Brown has won the backing of a large majority of Labour deputies, ensuring he will automatically become the next Prime Minister when Tony Blair steps down at the end of June.
Brown has 308 nominations, prompting his only rival, left-winger John McDonnell, to concede defeat. He was 16 nominations short of the 45 required. Brown has long nursed an ambition to be Prime Minister. He will outline his policies at ten “campaign style” hustings around Britain over the next few weeks.
Many in the party rank-and-file had called for a leadership election, to allow for debate on Labour’s direction after ten years in power. But, one by one, all the potential heavyweight challengers ruled themselves out. However, five candidates are in the running to be the party’s Deputy Leader.