Saturday, 24 May 2008

Gordon Brown - Leadership challenge to be announced tonight?

There are several opportunities for a leadership challenge to be mounted against Gordon Brown over the next 18 months. Tonight is the first. Striking while the iron is hot would see a challenge announced in time for the Sunday papers. Some will think this wild speculation, but I remember that months ago Labour MPs were telling the press (off the record) that Brown had until May to turn things around. He most definitely has not. There are Labour MPs and Ministers who have been preparing for months for just the kind of collapse we have witnessed this month.

So watch this space. It could be tonight.

UPDATE @22:55 - As if by magic

I know this is not a direct challenge, but I think it is what they call in the trade "feeling the water"

William Hill have installed David Miliband as 5/2 favourite to succeed Brown.

From the Observer:

Gordon Brown would be forced to appoint a deputy who could be swiftly groomed as his successor under humiliating last-ditch plans being discussed by ministers to patch up his failing administration.

Senior figures are holding emergency talks on ways to stop what one called the 'haemorrhaging' of power from New Labour amid signs that Brown is losing control of his party. Rumours swept Westminster yesterday that one senior cabinet minister has begun raising money for a potential leadership bid, while up to 40 backbench MPs are said to be ready to back a challenge.

4 comments:

The Raven said...

I'm still not convinced Brown will ever, ever go. You don't plot for a job for nigh on 40 years to give it up after 11 months. I honestly don't think he'll step aside, and the only people who Brown would listen to if they told him to do so won't, because they know that their careers will be finished with a new leader. Ed Balls is not going to stab Gordon, for example. And yet it's people like Ed Balls who need to tell him the game is up. Moreoever, I just don't think the public would accept the idea of just changing the Prime Minister whenever a government feels like it, purely for electoral advantage. David Cameron could just run with that in PMQs every week and win every time.

Daily Referendum said...

Raven,

I think he will go. There are too many MPs and Ministers talking about it. Especially now that a "friend" of Miliband has "let slip" that he is ready to challenge if the opportunity arises.

The Raven said...

Well, we shall have to see :)

Something I do think is very interesting about all of this is how the names being most seriously considered are all what you'd call in the 'Cameron mould'. People said that Cameron was just a copy of the young Blair, and maybe that was true in part. But from the outset, it was very clear that Cameron, as a more one-nation sort of Conservative, was something we hadn't seen in a while. Yes, he was young and all that, but he was also different in an ideological way. The thing about Miliband and Purnell that I don't quite get is would they be any different from Brown/Blair at all? Miliband tends to identify himself with the left of the party, and Purnell is a mystery. But to me it looks as though they want the physical aspects of a Labour Cameron, without the inherent ideological shift that would come with it. The Lib Dems did similar when they picked Clegg. They went for the younger and more photogenic option, but they didn't realise they were getting a sulky school debater, a gigantic opportunist, and an ideological void in the process.

Daily Referendum said...

Spot on. I have to say that Clegg is my most hated figure in politics. He's blatant.