When Mike Smithson posts a political rumour, I sit up and take notice. This may sound odd, but Mike is not a man to take a punt without having reason to believe a rumour has some truth in it. This morning he has written THIS piece suggesting that Alan Milburn will mount a leadership challenge to Gordn Brown in the aftermath of the Crewe & Nantwich by-election.
Would he be credible? To those of us outside the Parliamentary Labour Party, perhaps not, but there are many many Labour MPs who face losing their seats and may just be tempted to think the unthinkable if the Crewe result is as bad as the latest poll suggests (a 13 point Tory lead).
Milburn's detractors will point to the fact that he resigned from the Cabinet once, at least in part because he couldn't hack the pressure. He has been out of the frontline for so long that he might also be considered to be a little out of touch.
The other thing Labour MPs will be thinking about is this: Will the British public stomach two successive Prime Ministers who have taken office without the inconvenience of an election?