UPDATE 21:40 The Guardian have the story, with quotes from Straw: “[David Miliband] has the strength and the depth to stand up to David Cameron at prime minister’s questions week after week, and he can stand up for the people who will be most badly hit in our communities by the policies of this Con/LibDem government.”
Where the Labour leadership contest is concerned, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to establish where Jack Straw’s sympathies might lie. With the frantic eleventh-hour push to get Diane Abbot on the ballot, our analysis of her nominations in June tracked the flow of support from two sources: splinters from the John McDonnell camp and other backers “donated” by the older Miliband. Unless the great survivor of Labour politics was, unbeknown to the Westminster village, a secret sleeper agent for the Socialist Campaign Group, Jack would be backing David.
With any announcement of substance amplified by the news vacuum of parliamentary recess, this Animal has heard whisper that an official statement may be forthcoming, possibly before the weekend. This brings into relief some canny tactics from MiliD: anyone nominating Diane Abbot could be held back for a subsequent announcement of genuine support at a time of the campaign’s choosing.