FRANK Dobson is proving a bit of a tease to the upstarts in the queue around the block for his parliamentary seat. After the 2010 elections and another easy triumph, his private line seemed to be that he wouldn’t be standing in the Labour-safe surrounds of Holborn and St Pancras again if the coalition managed to see their term out in one piece.
Ask him about that idea now and he’s more likely to say that he’s never said anything about that and everybody should just calm down a little. Unlike Glenda Jackson, he hasn’t ever explicitly gone on record to say he’s going to spend more time on the golf course.
There was another idea about Frank’s intentions.
If Camden had been carved up by the recently-proposed boundary changes and, say, his home near the British Museum no longer fell into the core of his long held constituency, some Labour wonderers mulled over the idea that he might have felt it an opportune moment to pass on the baton.
We all know there is a grabby parade of penguins looking to grab the prize fish of standing as an MP here. Usual suspects, etc.
But after last week’s hullabaloo about Lords reform and critical Lib Dem rebellions over boundary reforms which could leave Holborn and St Pancras largely as it is, Labour sources will tell you that Frank’s plans may have now been crystallised in another direction and it may not be great news for magpies looking for him to budge on.
The by-product of Frank deciding to stick, however, could be calmer waters within Camden’s Labour group. Who follows Frank has been the elephant in the room question for a fair old time now.