The news that Dennis Skinner has decided to back David Miliband for the Labour leadership will be greeted more in sadness than anger by most people on the Left. It has been rumoured at Westminster for some time and has now been confirmed in a report by Paul Waugh of the Standard who quotes him justifying his position by saying “the big question is who are the Tories afraid of”.
Dennis, who is a member of the Campaign Group of MPs, had nominated Diane Abbott. He is not the only leftwinger to back the older Miliband — Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, nominated him — but most Leftwingers will hope he is the last. The news has probably emerged today because David Miliband’s media managers had been drip-feeding information about his supporters in order to give the impression of continuing momentum. Fortunately, such appearances can be deceptive.