Brown: The vultures are circling

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7369633.stm

Miliband defends Brown leadership

Foreign secretary David Miliband talks to Andrew Marr

David Miliband has urged Labour to rally behind Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is facing fresh criticism of his leadership style.

The foreign secretary told The Andrew Marr Show it would be "fatal" if the party "failed to defend the leader".

It comes after Lord Levy, Tony Blair's ex-fundraiser, told a newspaper Mr Blair believed Mr Brown was not capable of beating Tory leader David Cameron.

A spokesman for Mr Blair denied the ex-PM had expressed such a view.

Lord Levy, who was at the centre of cash-for-honours allegations, also attacked the "lack of strong leadership" in the Labour Party.

In his memoirs, which are being serialised in The Mail on Sunday, Lord Levy writes that Mr Blair "told me on several occasions he was convinced Gordon 'could never beat Cameron'".

'Winning personality'

The newspaper quotes the peer as saying Mr Blair claimed he was convinced he could win a fourth term if he stayed on at Number 10.

"But Gordon? 'He can't defeat Cameron,' Tony told me," Lord Levy writes.

"Blair believed Cameron had major strengths - political timing, a winning personality and a natural ability to communicate to Middle England that Gordon would be unable ever to match."

He doesn't agree with the views attributed to him by Lord Levy and fully believes Labour with Gordon Brown's leadership can win the next election

Tony Blair's spokesman


Levy attacks Brown leadership
Cameron 'to stand up for poor'

Lord Levy denied any wrongdoing over cash-for-honours allegations and no charges were brought against him or anyone else.

A spokesman for Mr Blair insisted the ex-PM was fully behind Mr Brown and believed he could win the next general election.

"Tony Blair said when he stood down that he would be 100% loyal to Gordon Brown and that continues to be the case.

"He doesn't agree with the views attributed to him by Lord Levy and fully believes Labour with Gordon Brown's leadership can win the next election."

'Fight back'

Mr Miliband also threw his weight behind the prime minister - and denied the government had suffered a collapse in morale.

Asked by Andrew Marr if Mr Brown would have to step down if Labour suffered heavy losses at Thursday's local elections, Mr Miliband replied "No, definitely not."

He said the party had to "fight back" against the "mid-term blues" and could not afford to "roll over and say 'we have had enough'".


Lord Levy said he was 'disappointed' by Labour's recent slide


He said: "We always knew this was going to be a very tough year because it's the mid-term of third term and we have got a world economic situation that is very, very difficult indeed.

"And I think this is a test of character really as well as a test of policy.

"We know what's fatal - if we fail to defend the leader, if we lose sight of our core convictions, of we don't follow through on what we have started."

Mandelson call

He said the government had to "keep very close to the concerns of voters and that's why the decision this week about the 10p rate was right".

But it also had to "tell a story and understand where this country stands in the world because actually British decline is over" and be the "the agents of change in politics" even though that was "difficult" after 10 years in power.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman also weighed in, telling Sky News it was "rubbish" to suggest Labour MPs wanted to get rid of Mr Brown, adding "It's time for a very serious leader and that is exactly what Gordon Brown is".

European trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, a close ally of Mr Blair, warned Labour to "pull itself together and refocus".

The former cabinet minister dismissed Lord Levy's claim that Mr Blair thought Mr Brown could not win the next election - saying he had been 100% loyal.

Tory poll lead

Tory leader David Cameron told the Andrew Marr show he expected Mr Brown to delay a general election if the Tories continued to do well in the polls.

He also pledged to stand up for low paid families - saying the government's decision to scrap the 10p tax rate showed that Labour was prepared to abandon its traditional supporters.

But he stressed he would not be distracted by a new opinion poll suggesting he will become prime minister with a strong majority at the next general election.

The ICM survey for the News of the World suggests 131 Labour MPs would be ejected from the Commons in favour of their Conservative challengers.

The findings point to a 9% swing from Labour to the Tories, giving Mr Cameron a 64-seat majority.

But another poll by ICM, for The Sunday Telegraph, puts the Tories on 39% nationally, 10 points ahead of Labour on 29% and the Lib Dems on 20%.

It suggests a shortening lead for the Conservatives, who had an 18-point lead in a survey by the same organisation last week.
My heart bleeds for Comrade Brown.
 
#4
Contradictory quotes from Levy and Bliar, must mean that one of them is "mis-speaking". Could this end up in the libel courts?
 
#5
<satire on>Yes, but in the summary of his opinion, released after consultation with the PMs press office, Levy gave 1 page of unconditional support. <satire off>
 
#6
Yep! I said a long time ago that the 'Wheels were coming off the NU Labour Wagon!".... It looks like quite a few Junior Ministers of Pa 'Glum' Brown are getting ready to jump ship...

Who will be next Dear Leader.... will it be Ed 'Round Spherical Objects' Balls... or the Boy David Miliband.... Gordon Brown certainly is looking a bit green round the gills..... If Uncle Boris ousts Uncle Ken in the London Mayoral elections on Thursday 1st May, and the local Elections in parts of England and Wales returns defeats for NU labour, then there might just be enough rebel Labour MPs who might demand a change of leadership. However if this was to happen, it could provoke and early General Election. After all, who wants Ed Balls or the Boy Miliband to be the next PM, and unelected by the Elecotrate at that.... :roll:
 
#8
uncle_vanya said:
Yep! I said a long time ago that the 'Wheels were coming off the NU Labour Wagon!".... It looks like quite a few Junior Ministers of Pa 'Glum' Brown are getting ready to jump ship...

Who will be next Dear Leader.... will it be Ed 'Round Spherical Objects' Balls... or the Boy David Miliband.... Gordon Brown certainly is looking a bit green round the gills..... If Uncle Boris ousts Uncle Ken in the London Mayoral elections on Thursday 1st May, and the local Elections in parts of England and Wales returns defeats for NU labour, then there might just be enough rebel Labour MPs who might demand a change of leadership. However if this was to happen, it could provoke and early General Election. After all, who wants Ed Balls or the Boy Miliband to be the next PM, and unelected by the Elecotrate at that.... :roll:
May I respectfully suggest that he be known as David Milimong or David 'The Mong' Miliband? 8O

 

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