Why Jon Cruddas could be Labour's new election co-ordinator

One radical option under discussion is to merge the role of election co-ordinator with that of policy co-ordinator.

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Labour has already moved to fill one of the vacancies created by Tom Watson's departure, with Jonathan Ashworth, the MP for Leicester South and a former Miliband adviser, replacing him on the NEC, but this still leaves open the question of who will replace Watson as the party's election co-ordinator.

Douglas Alexander, who ran Labour's 2010 campaign, was praised by Watson earlier this week, who said "his characteristic humility and razor sharp mind can refocus the campaign on the issues that matter to people facing a huge fall in living standards”. But Michael Dugher, the party's vice chair and an increasingly prominent (and able) media performer, is viewed as a more likely replacement. His close ties to Watson may count against him, though, as Miliband seeks to distance Labour from "machine politics".

Other names under discussion include Harriet Harman, Sadiq Khan, who ran Miliband's leadership campaign, Jack Dromey, Vernon Coaker and John Spellar. 

But here's a blue-sky option that one source mentioned to me: merging the role of election co-ordinator with that of policy co-ordinator (currently held by Jon Cruddas). The view among some in Labour, the source said, was that it is no longer possible to "separate policy from politics or campaigning from decision-making".

Part-wonk, part-streetfighter, it's a job that perhaps only Cruddas could do. We'll soon find out just how radical Miliband is prepared to be. 

Jon Cruddas, the MP for Dagenham and Rainham and the head of Labour's policy review. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman.

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