There does appear to have been a bit of pandering to the gallery at the GMB Labour leadership hustings today.
The first question from the floor was whether the candidates would have Peter Mandelson in their shadow cabinet. What happened next?
From the Press Association:
Ed Miliband replied: “I think all of us believe in dignity in retirement.” He said Lord Mandelson had fought “like a tiger” to get Labour re-elected, but pointedly added that people in the shadow cabinet “should be elected”.
Mr Burnham said the party needed to be “refreshed” with a new generation of leaders, adding: “Peter did some great things. But we created the impression that the elite was running the country. We must have a Labour Party that involves everyone.”
This appears to be pretty strong stuff: Ed Miliband is close friends with Mandelson, whom he is said to have described as a “benevolent uncle” after Gordon Brown brought Mandelson back to cabinet. Andy Burnham, meanwhile, is seen as a “Blairite”. The words are already being reported as the supposed “Prince of Darkness” being cast into the, um, outer darkness.
But the reality, as David Blackburn at Coffee House implies, is more boring: Mandelson, along with his fellow peer Andrew Adonis, has already resigned from the shadow cabinet to pursue other interests.