Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ann Clwyd booted out as PLP Chair

Not to keen on Ann Clwyd , so pleased to see she has lost the Chair of the Parliamentary labour Party :

Former foreign office minister Tony Lloyd has been elected as chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, ousting Ann Clwyd from the post.
Mr Lloyd won 169 votes, while Ms Clwyd gained 156. She won last year's chair election with a margin of 11 votes.
Ms Clwyd is the PM's special envoy to Iraq and was seen by some backbenchers as being too close to Tony Blair.
As chairman, Mr Lloyd, an anti-war rebel, will be charged with ensuring ministers know of backbench concern.
In Tuesday's election, 92% of Labour MPs took part.
Ms Clwyd was said to be "extremely upset" following the vote in London.
Her election loss is the first time in about 25 years that a sitting chairman has been voted out.

Quotes before the vote included :

MPs say it has become harder to voice dissent in recent years. "The view is that Ann is a bit of a government patsy," said one backbencher.

Even one backbencher who praised Ms Clwyd predicted that Mr Lloyd would be "a little better at more forcefully representing the views of the independent backbenchers in difficult meetings with the prime minister and other senior ministers."

Given the weakening of the cabinet, let alone the backbenchers, I'm not sure how much real difference there will be. Perhaps I'll be proved wrong.