Following last week’s piece on Kate Hoey’s last minute withdrawal from a “Back Boris” event in her constituency of Vauxhall, Boris Johnson announced this morning on LBC Radio that Ms Hoey would join his mayoral administration as a non-executive Director with the responsibility for promoting competitive sport and monitoring preparations for the 2012 Olympics.
As a former Minister for Sport, this could be the perfect role for quintessential Londoner Ms Hoey, though the ramifications for her amongst Labour colleagues could be huge. Under usual circumstances, such collaboration with an Opposition candidate would immediately result in a withdrawal of the party whip. However, with Labour flagging in the polls, a Prime Minister out of touch even to his own MPs, and the only clear policy announcements being a stubborn persistence with the very policies which have alienated the party from its core vote, Labour might well need Ms Hoey more than she needs them.
Rumours have persisted that she has previously come close to crossing the Rubicon and joining the Conservatives, though has never quite made the full jump. But with Brown’s administration going into meltdown, Ms Hoey may well feel that now is the time to walk.
(Hat tip: Iain Dale)