Ms King, who was first elected in 1984, was the obvious choice as “Labour’s best performer” but people always want a “shiny new face”, Ms Collins says.
In the politics game, she says, it is seen as a bad thing for a female politician to be middle-aged – despite all the experience she has acquired during her career.
But there are plenty of middle-aged men in politics who are seen as just hitting their stride when they get into their 40s and even 50s.
Ms Collins contends women have more of a use-by date in politics. In keeping Ms King as his deputy, however, Labour leader Andrew Little has given a nod to the fact her age and experience are of value to the party – and the leadership.