Since the Labour Party so tastelessly called the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, even before the late Gwyneth Dunwoody has been buried, people have been trying to work out why they have acted with such speed.
One thought has crossed my mind. They knew they were in for a drubbing in the locals so that had no bearing, one way or the other, on the decision. They are also likely to lose the mayoral election in London, which may have more of a bearing on the decision to move the writ so quickly.
Labour HQ called for prospective candidates' CVs to be sent in by Thursday, the writ only being moved on Wednesday. The shortlisting is taking place today (Friday) with selection taking place on Saturday. Now is all this just a Machiavellian way to keep an unemployed, former London mayor from getting in there?