The choice facing Labour MPs at Budget16

By GUIDE's Chief Executive, Greig Baker

Some people accuse Conservatives of wanting power at any cost. Having worked for the party during some of its darker days in Opposition, I can assure you that is not the case. However, most Tory MPs do understand you have to be in power to wield it.

When the Chancellor sits down after delivering his Budget, ambitious Labour MPs will have three choices if they want to wrestle the keys to Number 10 away from Cameron’s successor. First, they could drink the kool aid and hope against hope that Jeremy Corbyn has stumbled upon a new way of winning elections. More realistically, they will have to choose between options two and three – quietly rebelling or carefully splitting.

The rebellion option will be embodied by Rachel Reeves, Dan Jarvis, et al, who will set out their own response to the Budget, coming from a dramatically different position to Labour’s frontbench. In contrast, the splitting option has already been demonstrated by David Lammy and Andrew Adonis, who have been willing to give Corbyn a few more days’ bad headlines in return for the promise of actually getting stuff done. Given that Andrew Adonis’s recommendations from the National Infrastructure Commission will get great big lumps of real hard cash thrown behind them in the Budget, the understated rebels are going to have to do something special to persuade colleagues that they can offer a viable alternative.

Either way, the reaction to the statement will give us a clear sense of which Labour MPs know that you don’t actually have to be a Tory to want to be in Government.

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