You can't taste victory until it's served to you.

In the New Statesman yesterday it was reported that the Labour whips had been instructing Labour MPs to vote for Margeret Beckett. In fact, Beckett herself had rung a few MPs herself. One of these told her he would not wish to vote for her. Beckett’s reply was simply: “Well, I’ve won this.”

Mrs Beckett may be left only with a strongly enforced moral: never claim premature victory. In fact, don’t even think victory until you hear your name alongside the majority vote.

Today was, of course a major milestone for many Labour MPs. It was probably the first time any of them had voted for a Conservative!

But either way, congratulations and a stint at the Commons bar is in order for the newly elected Speaker, John Bercow.


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