Saturday, 12 May 2007

Letter of support

I just want to thank the huge number of people who signed the letter of support in today's Guardian. I've been genuinely overwhelmed by the support the campaign has received over the past few days.

We will print the full list of names on the website by 10am today. If you want to add your name, drop us an email at

I know how understandably anxious many of you are about the leadership situation. I'll update you with the latest as soon as I can.

Below is the letter in today's Guardian:

As a range of Labour party members, councillors, NEC members, trade unionists, activists, community workers and campaigners, we are asking Labour MPs to nominate John McDonnell in order to allow a genuine debate about the future direction of our party. We believe that a coronation of Gordon Brown that excludes party members and trade unionists from having a say will be inconsistent with the proud democratic traditions of our party. Polls show that an overwhelming proportion of party members want the chance to participate in a leadership contest with more than one candidate.

We welcome John McDonnell's commitment to a comradely leadership contest based on policies, not personalities. His grassroots campaign has won huge support right across the labour movement and has succeeded in winning large numbers of people back to the Labour party. Above all, we believe that having a leader imposed on us without any democratic mandate will prove to be far more divisive than having a healthy debate, which can only strengthen our party.

Mike Wood MP
John4Leader parliamentary manager
Tosh McDonald
vice-president, Aslef executive committee
Christine Shawcroft
Labour party NEC
Elaine Smith MSP
Cllr Tony Belton
Leader, Wandsworth council Labour group
Mike Houghton
Secretary, Greater London Association of Trades Union Councils
Steve Battlemuch
Chair, Nottingham South CLP
Walter Wolfgang
Labour Party NEC
Tony Benn
And 332 others