Online Celtic fanzine ETims provides a reminder of the role two Bristol MPs – one current, one former – played in preventing former-Stalinist bully boy John Reid from running for the leadership of the Labour Party as the keeper of the true Blairite flame against Gordo earlier this year.
Reid has recently been appointed Chairman of Celtic and many supporters are less than happy to see Blair’s former Home Secretary at the club. Here’s the alleged inside story on Reid, doing the rounds again, that was originally planted in The Daily Mail in May:
John Reid’s surprise decision last week to scrap his plans to challenge Gordon Brown prompted a welter of speculation in Westminster.
Just days before, as bruiser Mr Reid was positioning himself to take on the Chancellor, his enemies in the Labour Party were queuing up to reveal why they considered him a liability.
Their accounts centred on drink-fuelled indecent proposals he allegedly made to one of Mr Brown’s closest allies, Treasury Minister Dawn Primarolo.
It’s alleged that Reid sexually harassed Primarolo over a number of years: “John came lurching up and said to Dawn, ‘I want to have sex with you, I want to fuck you, you want it as well.'”
Ms Primarolo’s friend and neighbouring Bristol Labour MP Jean Corston intervened and, according to a source, told Mr Reid: “You are a disgusting creature. Get away from her,” adding: “That’s it, I’m going to report him.”
Ms Corston, who is now a Baroness, told colleagues she raised the matter with John Smith, commenting: “It won’t be happening again.'”
The final straw apparently came when Reid staggered onto the floor of the house to vote and was stopped by an attendant, flung a punch and it was goodbye Glenfiddich
This story, planted just before Reid might have launched his leadership bid, undoubtedly came directly from the Brown camp – that includes Primarolo – to give Reid an idea what he was in for if he went ahead. Primarolo has neither denied nor confirmed the story as yet.
Brown was of course elected Labour leader unchallenged.