Poll: who should be Labour’s first woman leader?

Shadow Chancellor McDonnell named Angela Rayner as prospect to be party’s first woman leader, during interview with Alastair Campbell
Future Labour leader? Laura Pidcock (left) and Angela Rayner

During a controversial interview with former Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said that he thought the next Labour leader should be a woman, name-checking only Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner as a prospect for the role.

But in a recent SKWAWKBOX poll of potential deputy leaders to replace Tom Watson, Shadow Labour Secretary Laura Pidcock was members’ favourite.

Labour member poll:

In a straight contest between the pair, who would be your choice for Labour’s first woman leader?

(Answer order has been randomised)

The poll will close at 9pm Sunday 13 October. Results will be published shortly afterward.

The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


    1. I wont have a vote but agree, neither is ready. What women are experienced enough? Thornberry, Cooper (urgh!)

      I have no idea who is suitable, Williamson is unlikely to be in the LP and he wouldn’t be my choice for leader anyway. Foreign Secretary with a committed and strong anti-war leader would be my choice but I know that is a fantasy.

      1. Ha, ha, ha. I deleted Phillips from my list (unthinkable) but see she would consider throwing her whatever into the ring if Corbyn stepped down. I now suspect a fit up if/when Corbyn steps down. A best of the worst scenario.

  1. Haven’t we had a similar question to this before?. It’s not which woman, it’s which person? and that person by a long way is Chris Williamson!

    1. If SB is going to insist in playing identity based politics then why not open up the vote to all the female members of the Labour’s front-bench or even better all Labour’s female MPs. We shouldn’t forget that our current leader came from the back-bench with zero ministerial experience.

  2. Laura paddock only because of the loyalty issue with socialist principles Rayners a good second choice,but I would vote for joe blogs to get rid of Watson!and half the PLP.

      1. Thanks for that correction steve H ..must have an obsession with the GGS.

  3. We have a leader He is our greatest asset and is admired and respected by millions of people – a man of steel to quote Len McCluskey.
    13 million of us voted for a government led by him despite the wall to wall lies and smears and the concerted efforts of elements of the PLP, the Tories and the MSM.
    Articles like this are unhelpful in my opinion and would be better unpublished.

  4. Don’t care what sex the next leader will be, all I care is what they stand for and who they stand for.

    Benefit cuts disproportionally affected poor single parent women, but that didn’t stop a lot of the women MPs in 2015 not challenging the Tory welfare benefit bill that imposed drastic cuts on their “sisters” and others from the working class. The ones affected by the cuts were the wrong class, hence how easy it was for these middle class MPs to abandon them.

    1. Well said and that’s because imo a lot of the women have now got their snouts in the trough and no longer bother from whence they came

  5. I would prefer to hear from all our MP’s on their basic beliefs, on what an equitable end state society might look like and their ideas on how to spread the message in a way that will convince people of the global need for such a radically changed society.
    Most of us spend our lives running to stay in place and have little time to think. We delegate that to others – ideally they’d be the better-equipped but we choose them in a beauty contest so they rarely are.
    Now that we’re aware that humanity’s uncontrolled expansion in a capitalist system has placed its survival in serious doubt we really ought to at the very least put a hold on both things.
    Not having children myself it’s no skin off my nose if we go extinct but everyone with kids ought to be made aware of the gravity of our situation and that ‘moderate’ steps will only slightly delay the inevitable.
    When you’re doing 90 and Beachy Head’s 100 yards away braking moderately is an extremist act.

    I think it’s time for a world symposium to consider matters pending.
    No politicians allowed except in the audience where they’re gagged, clamped to their chairs, fed and evacuated by tube (OK, two tubes if you insist) and kept alert with electricity.

      1. David mcnivem might find Alexander Ocasio cortez interesting the same as me whatever she’s saying….Apologies to my wife and David if I have crossed the politicaly correct line

      2. Sorry Joseph but I can’t work out what you are trying to say.

      3. Thanks Steve, it was. I recognise her sincerity and dedication but wonder if she wrote the speech herself? She stumbled often and appeared to read every word.
        Picky of me I expect but I’d rather listen to the person who thought the thoughts – I hope she did write it and she just stumbled from stage nerves, because I do admire her.

        It’s impossible to imagine ours being the only populated planet in the whole of existence and we’re getting quite close to a theory of everything – understanding all the laws that govern the Universe.
        I wonder whether other planets’ inhabitants could have progressed to such understanding by routes very much different to ours – in other words, might humanity’s present conundrum be ubiquitous – a standard cycle of civilisation?
        ie: large brain > fire > steam > industry+science > population explosion > more burning > extinction.
        Capitalism being non-essential I left it out.

        Our planet’s geology enabled our coal-and-oil-based industrial development and both were essential to the science that now allows us to understand the damage humanity’s 170-year-old runaway ‘success’ has done to it.
        Our scientific discoveries could hardly have occurred in a much different order to the way they did – if free, clean fusion energy does eventually become a reality it’ll be by standing on the shoulders of prior science and industry.

        It’d be a shame if we killed Earth the week before we would have learned the one thing that could have saved us – and ironic as fuck if burning enough shit to turn a planet into a meat-coated hot rock is the only way to learn the Universe’s secrets.

      4. Joseph, apologise to your wife by all means but not to me – I don’t think of you that way, sorry πŸ™‚

      5. Sorry David but I have a liking for the espanic women

  6. Both Rayner and Pidcock are devoid of socialist analysis, in conformity with the political spirit of the age since Thatcher. They share the analysis that “There Is No Alternative” to capitalism. The only hope for a more equal society is to change fundamentally the ownership of our country. Since Rayner and Pidcock wish to retain capitalism I could not be bothered to support either of them.

    Btw, Labour has already had two women leaders, Margaret Beckett and Harriet Harman. Under the Party constitution if the party leader becomes “permanently unavailable” then the deputy leader becomes leader. This is what happened in the cases of Beckett and Harman.

    The MSM entirely invented the fictitious post of “ACTING leader” as a job title for these two women. No such post exists under our rules. They both served as party leader, albeit briefly.

    1. Yes Danny but you cannot compare pidcock or Rayner with posh frocks or gone camping Beckett. Ones a treacherous snob and the other is nice but litteraly gone camping and gone M I A. Sad but true

  7. Can I take it that the Leadership have now acknowledge that we have already lost this election as they seem intent on talking that prospect up right now !

    1. According to the video John !McDonnell has decided that both himself and Jeremy will.go if they loose the election.I wonder if Jeremy knows they will abandon the membership to Watson and Big Benn.Maybe they are both better tacticians than we give them credit for and a joint political career of nearly a century gives them some political nonce!

      1. I understand that Joe and if John goes as Chancellor , that does not preclude him from standing as Leader , not that I have a issue with him on that . BUT my point is , the rising drum beat here , that Corbyn is finished already , even before we get to the election.Its damaging the image and sets a tone in the public sphere of defeat .
        Should Twatson or Bomber Benn get to power I sincerely hope we on the Left give them absolute HELL and make their lives a complete and utter misery.
        I for one will never ever help a RW Blairite Party to power and will do my bet to undermine them , as they , the RW have done all along to Corbyn and us .

      2. Rob you are correct if thats the intention,but I cannot see McDonnell changing an habit of a liftime. But nothing is impossible in todays politics but the track record of the two old hands suggest that they are playing the media and maybe us.I am not a good enough politician to understand the world of power politics.but what other choice do we have and they know it?…..regards comrades

      3. Political ‘nous’ Joseph. Nonce means something different. πŸ˜•

      4. David I give up on my spelcheck,and maybe invest in a proper computer ….Varadeker my apologies and Johnson…well anything possible with the Tory party?

  8. Just a thought Johnson is negotiating with a right of centre 1st minister leo varadakar and the only left wing party being sinn fein in Ireland.The official I RA gave up the fight in 1970S and are the only socialist \ communist party in Ireland.So a meeting of minds could be possible between the Torys and the Irish government?info only for our British veiwers

    1. Great observation sir. Yes Joseph,Varadakar might be right-of-centre too, and it means they BOTH incline towards ‘divide and conquer’ and both acquiesce to the power of capital-accumulation-ism, but they’re not friends. Each is “the other” to the other. Each is, unintentionally, risking the hegemonic ascendency of Capital.

      This is exactly what Marx foresaw as the death-throes of capitalism. Capital-accumulation-ism is weakened by its own proponents. It eventually dies by bourgeois enfeeblement.

      “What the Bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers”

      The weight of history presses heavily on both of them, their gravedigging skills are not acknowledged, but very pertinent.

      I suspect Capital-accumulation-ism will not die, but just, as many times before, transform itself in order to survive. The great survivor..

  9. Let’s just worry about this election eh? The party needs to get a grip. We need a Labour Government more than we ever have. For example, why is Jeremy Corbyn attending a rally in Liverpool on the 19th of October when there is an vital debate in the House of Commons

    1. Mike If its anything like local government,the result and voting intentions are agreed before the full council mtgs.I should think there would not be many suprises that jeremy is unaware of.Maybe he finds speaking to the people more important before a general election than pissing in the wind to a bunch of corrupt politicians?

  10. Iiiiiittt’s theeeee ….. XFACTOR.!!!

    FFS … is this all that’s left to a Party that can’t get it’s ducks in a row and slings one good person after another under the bus?

    Currently I’d back the equivalent of Old Harry if he/she looked like *leading* the shit-show out of this quagmire. Particularly as the God squad are a clear and present danger.

    Have a good day. πŸ™‚

    1. I recognise that my gut reaction to this frippery is pretty cynical. But after turning on ‘Any Questions’ (no – don’t ask), with its entirely right of centre crew, I realiise why I view the whole question as irrelevant trivia.

      Simply – a prior problem is the dire general state of the quality of our politicians in parliament. Most of us clock different aspects of the reasons for this – but the overwhelming issue is the really poor reservoir of talent to draw on.

      … and even when you’ve pulled out the talent, there’s a cat fight about exiling 50% to the outer darkness because factions can’t agree over their ideological purity.

      Horse? Cart? Or inextricably linked? But I can’t see any real progress or credible answer to the question until this is addressed.

    2. RHThe god squad are a clear and present danger? …Why do you and others feel the need to attack people like me and ridicule us? I am a socialist Catholic and there are many socialist jews and Moslems who have a belief that is not the same as yours.You constantly insult the people of faith in the lowest form of criticism…ridicule..You are not endangering my support of the Labour party and socialism because I know the contribution to the formationof the early Labour party Irish Catholics made. You risk alianating the religious community with your and others derogatory comments.I am used to bigotry but I am always vulnerable from attacks from within.No ones trying to stop religious justified criticism but your type of ridicule is corrosive and cruel.

      1. Well, the only socialist Muslim I have ever met is the missus, and these days, with 90% of Jews supporting the Gaza massacre, I would hazard a gues and say not many Jewish socialists either. Meanwhile, have a glance over the pond and tell me how many God-bothering socialists have you spotted around Mike Pence, or the Christians against Dinosaurs lobby??

  11. Angela Rayner voted against replacement of the Trident nuclear status symbol and against the bombing of ISIS.

    However, her support for the expansion of Heathrow airport is rather troubling.

    1. Tony its hardly a party issue and whilst a Labour councillor I voted for an extension of Gatwick airport for a second runway whilst being a Labour member of gatcom the regularity body for Gatwick airport. That’s a judgment by me not class or party treachery! Regards comrade

  12. Reminds me of the political debate some years ago when many ‘so called’ liberal progressives voted for Margaret Thatcher because it was time for a woman PM.
    Same ‘tokenistic’ logic; when the elites employ quota systems rather than ‘the best person for the job’ they are corrupting equality & equal opportunities for every individual, regardless of gender; race etc.

    1. I remember the time well – when writers in ‘Marxism Today’ were the Lexiteers of yesteryear, seeing Thatcher as a necessary part of the forward march!

  13. I’d like to think that the next leader of the political party that is only a part of the wonderful Labour movement is not even IN parliament yet.

    The Coryn-project infuses our wonderful Labour party with proud, capable working class MPs and one of them becomes our next leader after Corbyn.

    As John McDonnell rightly said, if Labour does not win the next GE, Corbyn should make way for a new leader. I am certain that it will not be in the next five or seven years, so – health and vitality permitting, Corbyn’s successor might not even be in parliament yet and Jeremy has up to a decade to reform and renovate the party and country before he “moves-on”.

  14. If there is a problem like we have witnessed in CLP’s and Head Office where Blairites are causing Mayhem then fix it, impose our people
    I voted Pidcock but agree she is not ready yet, so there is a practical challenge to find first Labour woman PM
    If we are going to bring public schools into state system then would help if we rid our own party of blatant nepotism
    My argument is always for a level playing field and let the best rise to the top, create a clear path from top to bottom
    State pupils outperform public school when they enter university, but then lose out when they go for jobs

  15. This article should be deleted. It’s really unhelpful at this time. I note no BAME included either. Hmmm. A pointless exercise best forgotten and consigned to the bin

    1. Hallanos…its not a pointless exercise BAME are the future of diversity and we have to have positive discrimination to balance a growing and future Labour party..We would all like selection on merit,but that’s not realistic either in the old boys network,So positive discrimination is a must .

      1. There is no such thing as ‘positive discrimination’. Just plain old ‘discrimination’. You can’t wrap a fart up in red paper and call it rose scent.


  17. Ridiculous question but if it ever gets asked again neither have the credibility or experience .They would be crushed by anyone who challenged them .Is this still a left wing blog,? Or has it been hacked .

  18. What is wrong with labour woman ,so weak they have to use AWSL to get to power because they would never achieve positions of power without it and what do they do when they get there? Ask jess Phillips.

  19. I will make a decision when the time comes, but I don’t believe our next leader has to be a woman it must always be the best person at the time whatever race, gender or creed.

  20. They are both cracking MP’s and both would make great leaders. But me? I think Laura just pips Angela. She has the gumption in rallies to get the crowd cheering. Angela is fantastic in what she does.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: