Saturday, January 27, 2007

Reid less likely to win a leadership battle

No longer 'fit for purpose' at the bookies

John Reid's relatively short tenure as Home Secretary has involved him in a series of high profile controversies, which William Hill say have virtually killed betting support for him to become the next Leader of the Labour Party.

They have now lengthened his odds from 5/1 to 8/1, and shortened those of favourite Gordon Brown from 1/9 to 1/12. The only other serious betting contender is 12/1 third favourite David Miliband.

Dr. John Reid was being quietly and consistently backed as a serious candidate for the Leadership - then he became Home Secretary and the support has dwindled away to virtually nothing.

We have not taken a three figure bet for him in several weeks. He no longer seems to be fit for purpose as a leader-in-waiting, according to political punters' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

With Reid out of the running, Gordon Brown looks even more of a certainty than before and he is now the shortest odds he has ever been to succeed Tony Blair.

Meanwhile, Hills are offering odds of 6/4 that Reid will still be Home Secretary on January 1, 2008 and 1/ 2 that he will not.

John Reid's star is most definitely on the wane after a disastrous week at the Home Office, his advice to judges to jail only those considered to be extremely dangerous was taken up by immediately by one or two on the bench who appeared to want to score a political point at the expense of the beleaguered Home Secretary. Today's news that his department has failed to restrict the international movements of many known drug dealers can only add to his misery. He is either 'not fit for purpose' or he is the victim of a campaign mounted by Gordon Brown to secure his position as Blair's successor.

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BBC News





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