Farewell to Siôn Simon

Labour MP's next job may depend on a Tory victory.

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Siôn Simon, the Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, is the latest figure to announce that he's standing down at the next election. Which gives us the perfect opportunity to relive his infamous Webcameron spoof, an early pre-Smeargate warning to Labour of the potential hazards of new media.

Simon plans to campaign to become Birmingham's first directly elected mayor but there's one hitch -- the post doesn't exist yet.

The last campaign for a referendum on an elected mayor failed when less than 5 per cent of voters signed the petition required to trigger a poll. Labour has since gone cold on the idea. But David Cameron has promised that 12 cities, including Birmingham, will be forced to hold mayoral referendums if the Tories are elected.

So, is Simon, as some have suggested, unwittingly predicting a Tory victory?


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George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman.

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