Jack Straw says he wants the campaign to involve the whole party
Commons Leader Jack Straw has announced he will run Gordon Brown's campaign to take over as Labour leader when Tony Blair steps down. Here is his letter to Labour MPs in full.
I am writing to let you know that I have accepted an invitation from Gordon Brown to manage his campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party.
As the Budget showed, Gordon Brown is supremely well-qualified to build on the huge achievements of Tony Blair's premiership, to keep the Labour Party united, to give us the strategic vision to take on and defeat the Tories at the next election and, above all, show the strength of leadership our nation demands.
It will be a personal pleasure for me to help ensure that Gordon Brown becomes our next prime minister, and continues the positive transformation of the country which Labour has secured since 1997.
Our paramount priority at the present time must be to devote all our campaigning energies to fighting the May elections.
The leadership campaign will not be launched until the prime minister sets out the plans for his departure at a time of his own choosing.
Over the coming weeks I will be assembling a team and conducting preparatory work.
I want the campaign to be one which involves the whole of the Labour Party, which binds the party and which ensures the election of the best person to lead the party and the country after the prime minister steps down.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Gordon is the right person to do this.
If you would like to be involved in Gordon's campaign, please let me know.
And if there are issues you would like to see addressed in the campaign, ideas you would like considered, or places you think Gordon should visit, let me know that too.