Miliband to announce leadership bid today

David, that is.

It's been reported that David Miliband will give a speech today announcing his intention to run for the Labour leadership. He received a boost this morning after Alan Johnson ruled himself out of the race and endorsed Miliband.

James Purnell is expected to act as his campaign manager and serve as his chief of staff if he wins the contest. While his poor relations with the trade union movement, which holds a third of the votes in Labour's electoral college, remain a disadvantage, it is clear that the momentum is with Miliband.

Meanwhile, there is growing pressure on Jon Cruddas to run as the standard-bearer of the centre left, though I wouldn't rule out a "dream ticket" between him and Miliband. The pair remain close, having worked together for four years as aides to Tony Blair, and a partnership with Cruddas could dramatically enhance Miliband's standing with the left of the party.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.