Gordon joked he was merely the warm-up act for the next event, which was the Deputy Leadership hustings, with Hilary Benn, Hazel Blears, Jon Cruddas, Peter Hain, Harriet Harman and Alan Johnson addressing the 200-strong audience and then taking questions.
I have to say that I wss impressed with all the candidates - even Jon Cruddas, who was far less the identikit Compass groupie I had imagined. After strong performances all round, I would imagine most people in the room would be happy with any one of them as second-in-command to Gordon - no mean feat considering there are six candidates standing. They would all be effective deputies who would ensure that the position remains a crucial part of the Party's make-up.
What was most encouraging was the constructive, not to say comradely way spirit in which the debate was conducted by the candidates. We were told that Labour has put on 1,000 members a month since the deputy leadership process began. The Tories should be concerned that the open process has reinforced to the public that Labour remains the party of the future.
As you can see right however, I'm supporting Alan Johnson's campaign. I've had first-hand experience of Alan through my work on the National Policy Forum, and he has been a shrewd and imaginative Education Secretary - quite an achievement in a notoriously difficult brief. Alone with Hazel Blears, Alan has not been afraid to 'tell it like it is' during the campaign, and has not pandered to some of the old shibboleths as one or two others have done. Finally, and for me crucially, with a Scot leading us into the next General Election, I feel we need a counter-balance - an effective campaigner who can reach out in the crucial south and south east of the country. Alan fits the bill.
I'll be numbering my ballot; 1) Johnson, 2) Blears, 3) Benn, 4) Hain, 5) Cruddas and 6) Harman. The papers will be sent out to Party members on Wednesday.