UK Politics

Short Fuse

Ex-Minister for International Development Clare Short resigned the Labour whip yesterday:

She said…that she wanted to resign because she “could not go on being rebuked every week”.

Being rebuked shouldn’t really surprise her though – she has been calling for a Labour defeat in the next election for some time and is on record saying she hoped for a hung parliament.

Ex-colleagues have their say:

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, a Labour peer who was her deputy in the International Development Department, accused her of being a traitor, saying that her resignation was inevitable.

Khalid Mahmood, MP for the neighhouring Birmingham Perry Barr constituency, said: “The party has always stood up for Clare, but Clare hasn’t always stood up for the party.”

It’s difficult to see Short’s act as anything other than an act of pique by someone whose lack of team spirit got her into more trouble than she could handle.

Even those who agreed with her over Iraq questioned her motives:

Peter Kilfoyle, who resigned as a defence minister over Iraq, said: “I would ask what she hopes to achieve by resigning.

Quite. The anti-war crowd don’t trust her because she voted for the invasion of Iraq, and those in the Labour Party who tried to keep her onside have been repaid by a longrunning stream of petulant barbs: perhaps she thinks she’ll have a second chance at winning friends and influencing people on the talkshow circuit, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Clare Short.jpg