Five most likely to exit Cameron’s cabinet

Too early to discuss such things?

Perhaps, in this era of "new politics", it's the wrong subject at the wrong time. And with the love-in in the Downing Street garden still fresh in the memory, and a honeymoon that will surely take us into the summer, it will seem churlish to some to dwell on departures, splits and ruptures.

Fortunately, the betting markets don't care for such sentimentality. This is who they think will be first out of the door:

  1. Vince Cable: 25 per cent
  2. Nick Clegg: 20 per cent
  3. Theresa May: 18 per cent
  4. Chris Huhne: 16.67 per cent
  5. Lord Strathclyde: 11 per cent

(Odds courtesy of Smarkets, as of 3pm, 14 May)

Theresa May's presence on the list -- sandwiched by three Lib Dems -- has nothing to do with her getting disillusioned by this marriage of convenience. Rather, it's the reality of the role. David Cameron gave her what is known on the terraces as a "hospital pass" when he appointed her to the Home Office.

Between 1997 and 2010, Labour home secretaries lasted barely two years each on average. In fact, during the last parliament, the average stay as was just 15 months.

Even so, the punters have Vince and Nick getting out of there even earlier.

Special offer: get 12 issues of the New Statesman for just £5.99 plus a free copy of "Liberty in the Age of Terror" by A C Grayling.

 

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

Getty
Show Hide image

Sadiq Khan to be elected mayor of London

The MP for Tooting will reclaim City Hall for Labour after eight years.

Sadiq Khan is to be elected mayor of London. Though results are still coming through, it is now mathematically impossible for anyone else to win. The Tooting MP has won City Hall back for Labour after eight years of Conservative rule.

At the time of writing, Khan is beating the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, at 45.5 per cent to 33.9 per cent, in what could be described as a landslide victory. The Green candidate Sian Berry is third with 6 per cent of the vote, followed by the Lib Dems (4.4 per cent) and Ukip (3.5 per cent). Turnout has been higher than expected, at 44.8 per cent – the highest turnout in a London mayoral election since Boris Johnson won in 2008, when it was 45 per cent (in 2012, it was 38 per cent).

The first MP of Islamic faith ever elected in London, Khan was also the first Asian and Muslim to attend cabinet meetings, after being appointed transport minister in Gordon Brown’s government in 2009. He has represented Tooting since 2005. There will be a by-election in the constituency as Khan stands down as MP.

Khan’s thumping victory is a boost for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership, after a night of disappointing local election results, and coming third in Holyrood. At the time of writing, Labour has kept the same share of seats in the London Assembly.

The result is a disaster for Goldsmith, whose campaign came under constant criticism for its scare tactics regarding Khan as a Muslim of Pakistani heritage. The Conservatives accused Khan of “pandering to extremists”.

Andrew Boff, the Conservative group leader on the Greater London assembly, called the campaign’s attempts to link Khan to Islamic extremism “outrageous” , and the outgoing Tory deputy mayor of London, Roger Evans, said it was a “foolish” campaign, which could “leave a negative legacy” for the Conservatives in London.

The result will come as a relief to pollsters, however, who were predicting at least a 12-point lead for Khan.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.