BELLE MONT, our Sutton reporter, on some off-tune political manoeuvrings going on among local MPs
Might one south London MP soon take over from another MP from the area to become the leader of a national political party?
And is Tom Brake really as dull as Chris de Burgh?
Brake, the LibDem MP for Carshalton and Wallington, and an ardent supporter of the Viridor incinerator at Beddington, could be the last-person standing when, as is widely expected, his party leader Vince Cable opts to stand-down ahead of the party conference next month.
Cable is due to make a speech on September 7, a week before party members gather for their annual conference in Brighton, and there are widespread suggestions that the 75-year-old will take the opportunity to announce that he will not continue in the leader’s role through until 2022 – the next scheduled date for a General Election (although Theresa May could call an election any time in the next four years, depending on quite how disastrous Brexit proves to be).
Cable was one of the LibDem facilitators of austerity in the Conservative-LibDem coalition from 2010 to 2015. He lost his Twickenham seat in 2015, but regained it in last year’s general election and took over as party leader from Tim Farron (Who? Ed.).
Ed Davey and Jo Swinson are those named as potential leadership successors by The Grauniad, where Brake does not get a look in.
An MP since 1997, as part of the rump of the parliamentary LibDem party the deeply underwhelming Brake has a range of front-bench jobs, including being responsible for his party’s Brexit position.
But it seems that Brake’s deep dullness may work against him if the Wallington resident really does harbour leadership ambitions. As a note in the latest New Statesman underlines:
LibDem HQ sticking wobbly Vince Cable under a “Demand Better” slogan at the party’s Brighton conference is either a plot or daft. Also nobbled is touted successor Layla Moran, the Oxford newbie MP and daughter of a Jerusalem-born Palestinian mother. The education spokeswoman has been slotted into a no-news Saturday lunchtime spot where activists grumble she’ll be the warm-up for dull Tom Brake later in the day. It’s like asking Beyoncé to support Chris de Burgh.
Don’t expect to hear Brakey singing his version of The Lady In Orange at the Wallington Arms’ karaoke night any time soon…
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