As he told us last week, there is no challenger, and by the sound of it there won’t be one at his panicked leadership meeting. Â This is all lose/lose for Shearer.
For him to look like he has any credibility at all he will have to demote Cunliffe, and I look forward to him revealing why.
Because Cunliffe’s been quite careful in what he has said publicly.
Brian Edwards is now pointing out the obvious – why should Cunliffe be forced to speculate on how he might vote in aÂ secretÂ ballot in three months?
It’s now inevitable that Shearer will demote Cunliffe as utu. Â When the senior whip is out there calling a frontbencher ‘dishonest’ that MP’s days on the front bench are numbered.
But this may actually help Cunliffe who, by some counts, is only a couple of votes away from the magical number of 14.
Cunliffe will be able to play the martyr card all summer long and it will have been handed to him by Shearer and his (ill)advisors.