Not much more they could have done, really. Other than put up an Elvis impersonator.
Putting up a minister would have demeaned their office and the political debate. The unelected and unappointed Crooked Mouth has no status to speak for anyone and his only interest is in plugging the diaries, which have lined his pockets with advances but not much in the way of royalties: sales are piss-poor. He will be buried by Chilcot shortly, and this inquiry is reporting to the best possible government to open and upend the Iraq can of worms rather than quietly shelf it. There will be lots of slimy loathesome creatures will be wriggling towards dark places in a few months....
When will Labour wake up and smell the fair trade coffee? They've been thrashed into third place in Thirsk, and they are still drooling over apparachiks like the Milibands for leader and letting Crooked Mouth loose on the media. The party will quickly become a student union irrelevance with no money...if Balls loses out, then Unite will go the same way as Unison with the political fund and tighten the purse-strings, and the government is going to make sure that Scotland and Wales don't return disproportionate numbers of red-rosette monkeys next time around.
The only credible candidate is Diane Abbott, and it would be somewhat surprising if she does not get through to the shortlist, given Labour's advocacy of equal opportunities and all-women shortlists (except for Mr Harman of course). But, as long as the likes of Crooked Mouth are casting their long shadows over Labour, the party is doomed.
Caimbeul, an Early Modern Irish or Gaelic by name meaning wry mouth, crooked mouth or twisted mouth, which refers to "the man whose mouth inclined a little on one side" or a dishonest person...from Wikipedia.