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27th November
Updated from time to time
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Labour deputy leadership: the challengers so far

Alan Johnson

Former postman who had to rule out using the slogan "Johnson delivers" after complaints from some of his former customers, several of whom claimed that he did anything but. Refuses to say whether he would prefer to run for several other jobs, including the leadership, the crown and the papacy.

Peter Hain

Received special permission from Orange to run under the banner "The future's bright, the future's orange". Brother of Dale Winton and godfather to David Dickinson's first lovechild. Said on announcing his candidacy: "I'm not doing this for myself, I'm doing this for orange people everywhere. I don't have my eye on the top job. In fact, I don't have my eye on this job. I don't want it. Here, you have it." A known supporter of Gordon Brown, in a joint ticket he could fill the smugness deficit left by Tony Blair.

Harriet Harman

Claims to be the only woman in the running so far and has gone on the record saying the next deputy leader should be a woman, and preferably her. Survived a legal challenge under sexual discrimination legislation to change her name to Harriet Harperson last year.

John Prescott

Vast experience as a marriage guidance counsellor between Blair and Brown. Unlikely to run again "I've had enough of Gordon bloody Brown" but may try to stay on. On record as saying: "There should be no coronation, unless it's a coronation chicken sandwich, in which case I'm in."

Rev Dr Ian Paisley

Not a serious contender, but says he's had enough of winding up Northern Irish politicians and would like to take over Tony Blair's mantle as Annoyance-in-Chief to Gordon Brown. Confident of packing as much punch as John Prescott.

Boris Johnson

The surprise novelty candidate, both to him and everyone else. Unashamedly Conservative but he doesn't see that as a barrier: "Well it worked for Tony Blair!" If elected, promises to push for the legalisation of an obscure Scottish cheese which has been linked with a number of deaths.

Possible candidates yet to declare

Margaret Thatcher, Stephen Byers, Alan Milburn, That bloke off Coronation Street, Margaret Beckett, Ann Widdecombe, Boris Johnson's dad, Jamie Oliver, Linda Barker, George W Bush, Tony Blair, Sir Jimmy Saville, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Steve Irwin.
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