Who is the next Labour leader?

David Miliband and Ed Balls

Miliband and Balls, photo: The Guardian

Gordon Brown is stepping down as UK’s Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader. Formal resignation is expected just before party convention in September, as he described his resignation is good will move so Labour Party can start formal negotiation process with Liberal Democrats free of his person and failure to deliver majority win on Thursday’s elections. British press already delivered lists of plausible candidates for leader position, many of them are close to former leader and PM Tony Blair, and some of them are close to incumbent PM.

First two candidates mentioned in newspaper reports are Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Children’s Secretary Ed Balls, on the list behind them are Hariet Hartman, Alan Johnson, Miliband’s brother Ed, Jack Straw and Alistair Darling.

David “Brains” Miliband is presented in British media as loyal follower and adviser to former PM Blair who is ready to take hard and uncompromised fight against party wing categorically loyal to current leader Brown. His advantage in a fight for leadership will be his previous experience in Downing Street Policy Unit were he was working for Blair, and his solid support in EU governing bodies were he had enormous success in delivering British goals through EU policies. Recently Mr. Miliband was considered as possible replacement for incumbent EU foreign affair secretary Lady Ashton whom is considered as weak leader of EU diplomatic force and someone who is enough inexperienced to accomplish her duties. The Daily Telegraph reports that Miliband’s obstacles on the leadership road could be tribal loyalty of Labour members, but still important part of his leadership campaign will be his program for New Labour Party after Brown’s disaster.

Children’s Secretary, Ed Balls, previously was closest Brown economic adviser at the Treasury and commentators saw him as chosen successor to Gordon Brown. Mr. Balls at 43 is one of the Labour members who can be sure that he will get a support from powerful union backers specially the Unite union. Downside for Mr. Balls will be his picture delivered to the Party members as Brown’s men, and many of them probably would not vote in his favour because is expected that they will say: “He is hair of the man who had chosen to go off and do something else, somewhere else.”

In the second row in this fight completely prepared will be Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, well known to public as former Foreign Secretary. Mr. Straw, 63, can’t be excluded from leadership race by the several reasons including his foreign and parliamentary experience and his passion for Labour Party. Commentators seen him as possible man who could offer period of calm Party progress to the better future.  The Daily Telegraph considers Mr. Straw as men who will lead Party through debate process of Party’s policy in opposition or in government. Mr. Straw possible win on Party convention will come as result of members vote through debate or as only survivor after his opponents cancel each other’s leadership bid.

Minor chances for win in this hard and unpredictable race will be on the side of current Brown’s deputy leader Mrs. Hartman, cabinet member Mr. Johnson, Miliband’s brother Ed who was previously one of the closest Brown’s advisors and another cabinet member well known Alistair Darling.

Who will end up as a winner also will be decided by negotiation process with Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats and future position of Party at Westminster? As negotiation process will go further situation in leadership bid will become clearer to party members and public. Nick Clegg is kingmaker in his hands is future of British government, name of next PM and future of Labour Party, such important role for someone who failed to deliver expected election result.


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