The cat is out of the bag! Apparently, Peter Mandelson wants to be the next Mayor of London. Fraser Nelson’s story from yesterday has been followed up by The Guardian’s Helene Mulholland – with an interesting twist:
Ken Livingstone (who is determined to be the Labour candidate himself) told the paper that a ‘senior Blairite’ warned him that Mandy ‘would go for it’.
Of course, Mandy’s people deny it all. But that hasn’t stopped me placing a few quid on Mandy to be crowned mayor in 2012 – with the rather good odds of 21 to 1.
Here are the main Labour runners and riders:
Ken Livingstone – 9/1
David Lammy, Jon Cruddas, Alan Sugar – 17/1
Peter Mandelson, Trevor Phillips – 21/1
Oonagh King – 26/1
Chuka Umannu – 34/1
Dawn Butler, Diane Abbot, Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Tony McNulty – 51/1
I won’t be rushing to the bookies to bet on the last five. As for the others, Umannu is hugely impressive and undoubtedly one to watch, but not even in the Commons yet. Lammy was Labour’s big hope a few years ago, but not any more.
King, Phillips, Sugar and especially Cruddas are more plausible candidates to defeat the Tories in 2012, but what about Sadiq Khan? The streetwise MP for Tooting is a born and bred Londoner – and is held in high regard by those Labour insiders who have already been contemplating how to win back London.
For my money it’s a three-way fight between Ken, Mandy and Sadiq.
And you read it here first…