THE position has just been filled, but those dastardly high street bookmakers continue to offer odds on who will be the next leader of the Labour Party. If you wonder aloud about the possible succession to Jeremy Corbyn in some parts of Camden you can be barked out of the pub for not giving the Islington North MP a chance. But let’s not pretend there aren’t people who remain convinced that Corbyn won’t make it to the general election as leader, and in the background there are often conversations about who might come next. Here Keir Starmer’s name is often circulated, as awkward as this may feel for the new new Holborn and St Pancras. Yet the beer talk tale of ‘it’s either him or Dan Jarvis’ is beginning to broaden. In fact, Keir has slipped down the running order among the bookies. While Jarvis heads the field, priced as meanly as 3-1 by William Hill, Keir has drifted to sixth in the market, quoted variously at 14-1 or 16-1. Granted, that’s not bad going for a man who has only been an MP less than six months but the number-callers have it that Tom Watson, Chuku Ummuna, Lisa Nandy and even David Milband are better bets right now. The dollop of salt to all this is that Corbyn was marked up at 100-1, even when he had announced he was standing for the job.
BERCOW vs PHILP
FIRST he mugged off Conservative Business Secretary Sajid Javid as being ‘discourteous and incompetent’ during a House of Commons debate, now speaker John Bercow has clawed new Croydon MP Chris Philp. The former Camden councillor was slapped down as he attempted to point-score about green taxes this week. “We don’t have to waste time with that…”, Bercow intervened, blocking Chris’s tee-up from being answered by the Prime Minister.