I have been out all day on a TOTAL POLITICS away day - fun, eh? So I have missed all the fun surrounding the resignation of Labour whip Siobhain McDonagh. Nick Robinson will be eating his words, after telling us this morning that Brown had survived his leadership woes. Perhaps Ms M made her move as a direct result. Who knows?
Those who know her (and I don't) tell me she is not someone who is a plotter. She has called for Brown to go for genuine reasons, and is prepared for the onslaught which will now be launched by Team Brown. And it has already started.
Guido seems to have been spun a line by the Brown camp that this sort of thing is to be expected. Contrary to his story, she didn't sign any nomination papers last year let alone spoil any. A source very close to McDonagh tells me it's absolute "bollocks" and that the Brown people are purposely smearing her. Well it isn't the first time and it certainly won't be the last.
MPs weren't actually sent out nomination papers; instead they had to traipse along to the Parliamentary Labour Party Resource Centre at the House of Commons and ask for a paper, then fill it out there and then. Siobhain McDonagh did not attend, let alone fill out a paper. Also, the papers weren't numbered, simply because MPs had to write their names on them so that the identity of the person doing the nominating could be identified.
If she really had written on it what Guido alleges, would she really have been appointed a government whip? I hardly think so.
It will now be interesting to see if McDonagh now has more followers than Charles Clarke.