Comment at end
6th January, 2010
UPDATE, 11:15pm: Despite Mandelson being urged to seize the moment the other day by Friends of the Famous Five, Lord Mandelson said on Newsnight tonight that they were all behind Brown. Yes, they were all behind Blair once too, and we know what happened to HIS back.
Watch this live update page, (last update 17:49) and refresh regularly – in case something happens! Well, you never know. Right now, it looks more like “Broken News.”
Geoff Hoon, former Chief Whip, Defence Secretary and also Europe Minister and Patricia Hewitt, former Health Secretary, both in Tony Blair’s government, have sent out a text message to colleagues saying, wait for it –
“We can’t go on like this”
Sounds familiar? It sure does.
SECRET BALLOT CALL
Hewitt says this is NOT an attempted coup. She says they are NOT calling for Gordon to go, just for a ballot, after which they will all get behind the leader, Brown or whoever. She also says, as does Hoon, that no-one else was involved in this move. She insists she has not spoken to David Miliband or any other present minister.
Now let’s see if a presently serving minister joins their ranks.
Only one problem – WHO would get sufficient backing?
Mandelson is NOT an MP so not (normally, anyway) eligible to become PM. And Tony, the REAL PM is a little busy with other things right now. And no-one from the Left of the party would ever get the backing of Blairites OR the party’s modernisers.
A secret ballot has been called for, which Frank Field (no surprise there, then) has backed.
Letter says – “Parliamentary party is deeply divided – it is affecting our political performance – EVERY member (of the parliamentary party) to express their views in a secret ballot. ”
Nick Robinson says this “extraordinary” move is designed to be a “grassroots revolution”. MPs are looking at their own jobs, says Robinson.
Who’s next – Charles Clarke for a start … sorry, while I’m writing Clarke has also said he supports this call.
According to the BBC’s Westminster man in the Commons, it seems the general response from MPs is “no”. They say that there will only be momentum if other key members of the party come out in support.
What does Brown do?
Will it create even more poison within the Labour party?
It seems that some in Labour believe that Labour will never ever be in government again. Have they been reading this blog? Death of glue-less, clueless Labour and Wikipedia entry 2050
Anyway, Michael White at The Guardian says it’s all silly stuff, and he believed Brown will still be PM on 6th May, when they go to the country. Really? 6th May?
Could be a nice birthday present for Tony.