His problem is the moment he confirms he is going to do so, then Labour will automatically have to expel him. So it is not in his interest to do so, and it is not in Labour’s interest either.
Labour is already struggling to pass legislation. Steve Maharey is doing two jobs of MP and Vice-Chancellor because they need his vote in the House. He could have resigned by now without automatically triggering a by-election.
Now Labour could take action against Benson-Pope just for refusing to rule it out. But they need his vote, so they are going to pretend that they haven’t noticed his refusal to rule out standing against Curran.
The ODT also reports on Helen Clark’s words on the situation:
She had continued to involve Mr Benson-Pope in what the Government and Labour Party were doing and still “personally regarded him as a friend”.
However, during the interview, Miss Clark failed to mention Mr Benson-Pope by name.
The nameless one!