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Both the resignations of Andrew Adonis and Norman Warner have been something of a disappointment for political junkies looking for drama.
The night before both exits were due to take place Fleet Street hacks started to send out some intriguing and enigmatic tweets talking of high-profile resignations from Labour.
First Labour parliamentarian and ex Minister resigns Labour whip tonight saying Labour no longer a credible party of government in waiting.
— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) October 19, 2015
Adonis’s exit happened in the context of the Tory conference, allowing him to join the National Infrastructure Commission, which will be tasked with planning out where government infrastructure investment will go.
Warner’s is much less interesting, though it did come with a bridge-burning letter which slammed the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn:
“I have watched for some time the declining quality of the Labour Party’s leadership, but had not expected the calamitous decline achieved in 2015. The Labour Party is no longer a credible party of government-in-waiting. The approach of those around you and your own approach and policies is highly likely to worsen the decline in the Labour Party’s credibility.”
Both resignations came from former government ministers, Adonis having worked as transport secretary and Warner as a health minister.
But whilst such names will be familiar to those who avidly follow politics, they will mean little to the general public and lack the punch of an A-list politician.
Were Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Alastair Campbell or Peter Mandelson to quit the Labour Party to move to the Tories, or even just languish in obscurity, it would warrant the excited late-night tweets of lobby journalists.
It would also, more importantly, capture the interest of the general public, even if such a move could be dismissed by the Corbynites as further evidence that the party suffered an infiltration of “Red Tories” throughout the 90s and 00s that is only now being rectified.
Image Credit – Andrew Adonis, March 2011 by the Institute for Government