Clwyd vs Lloyd
Ann Clwyd's defeat as PLP Chair by Tony Lloyd just goes to show how a lot of MPs don't fit easily into categories, how Blair has had personal support from a few lefties (another example is Dennis Skinner) and how Iraq has cut across traditional left-right lines.
Clwyd has been characterised as the "Blairite" candidate in the election because of her support for the Iraq War on human rights grounds. But this is almost the only issue on which she has ever agreed with Blair.
If my memory of conversations with former comrade (now sadly departed to the Lib Dems) Brian Sedgemore is correct, Ann was a big friend of him and other maverick MPs Bob Marshall-Andrews and Dale Campbell-Savours (at least until the vote on the war).
She was sacked from the frontbench by Kinnock for voting against the defence estimates in 1988, and sacked again by Blair in 1996 for ignoring whips' instructions on not travelling to Kurdistan.
She is anti-nuclear and voted against the whip on single parent benefits, invalidity benefits, trial by jury, the pensions/earning link, the NATS PPP, newspaper predatory pricing, and FoI.
My hunch is that the maths of her narrow victory in 2005 being turned into a narrow defeat this time is very simple: some or all of the 17 signatories of the September "Blair must go"letter would have voted either by conviction or because of being PPSs for Clwyd in '05 but in '06 voted for the Brownite candidate instead.
I think it's a shame that a principled politician like Clwyd (who I would disagree with on almost every issue other than Iraq) has lost her position, but I buy into some of the PLP critique that Lloyd will bring more open debate - perhaps if more debate and votes happen at PLP meetings MPs will feel they have had their say and be more accepting of the PLP's collective discipline.