Saturday, 13 September 2008

Gordon Brown's Premiership - A death of a thousand cuts.

Gordon Brown leadership contestFollowing Assistant whip Siobhain McDonagh's call (and sacking) for a challenge to Gordon Brown as Labour leader, another Labour MP has done the same today. Labour Party vice chair, Joan Ryan, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that she had asked for nomination papers to be issued ahead of the party conference. Joan said:

"I know there's a lot of people feel the same way and I know they find it very difficult to openly raise this issue. "I find it very hard. I'm a loyalist to my government. I have never voted against my government. This is a very hard thing to do. "But I actually feel now this is the most responsible thing I can do and I would be irresponsible if I didn't now speak up."
In response, Tony Lloyd, the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, said:

"What it [the call for a leadership contest] does represent is a handful of people who are not joined by the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs."
Those loyal to Brown are going to run out of ways to dismiss the rationale of those who are calling for a contest very shortly. Yesterday Siobhain McDonagh was accused by a government spokesman of always being "anti-Gordon", today Tony Lloyd wrote off Joan Ryan's (who is normally staunchly loyal to the government) appeal for a contest by saying that there wasn't much support for her position. UPDATE: I'm just in the middle of writing this as another Labour MP, Janet Anderson, has called for a leadership contest.

When I started writing this post it was with the intention (as you can see from the title) of pointing out that Gordon Brown's political career will die the death of a thousand tiny cuts inflicted by his own MPs.

The first knives have drawn blood, and because there will be a rush to be in on the kill, more will follow.

UPDATE 2: Knowsley North MP George Howarth has confirmed he has written to the party asking for a leadership election. Perhaps I should start a list?

1. Siobhain McDonagh - sacked.
2. Joan Ryan - sacked.
3. Janet Anderson
4. George Howarth
5. Fiona McTaggart
6. Graham Stringer
7. Gordon Prentice
8. Jim Dowd
9. Kate Hoey
10. Mike Hall
11. Shona McIsaac
12. Frank Field
13. Barry Gardiner
14. John McDonnell
15. Greg Pope

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