Labour MP Graham Stringer called for a leadership challenge to save Labour from electoral “disaster”.
He told the BBC News Channel: “It is the responsibility of senior members of the cabinet to say we are going in the wrong direction” – and he said one of them should declare their intention to stand against Mr Brown.
“Without that we are heading for electoral disaster at the next election and I desperately want the Labour Party to win,” he added.
Graham Stringer was one of The Gang Of Four who stood up against the Lisbon breach of promise by Labour and rebelled, openly backing the I Want A Referendum Campaign. The others were Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart. They were savaged by Geoff Hoon for their efforts. See SKY report HERE
It would be an interesting development if these four reassembled to promote a bid for the Labour leadership. Stringer’s comments suggest that there is some serious thinking going on to try to move Labour into a eurosceptic Party once more, as it was until Blair changed Labour’s tack on the EU before winning power in 1997.
If McDonnell is the most likely Left Wing stalking horse, then Stringer is the first sign of an attempt to swing the Party against Europe. The BBC will be delighted, of course! Stringer gets all of a sentence in the Beeb report ‘The End Of New Labour’ HERE.
UPDATE – A third Labour MP, Alan Simpson has opened up on Gordon Brown, as reported by the BBC at 13.22 pm HERE “Brown Faces Leadership Concerns”.
Interestingly, all the three who have openly questioned Gordon Brown’s leadership come from the 29 who voted in favour of the Conservative amendment to the Lisbon ratification debate in the Commons, proposing a referendum.
The 29 Labour MPs who broke ranks over the referendum issue were as follows –
Colin Burgon Elmet Lab aye
Ronnie Campbell Blyth Valley Lab aye
Frank Cook Stockton North Lab aye
Jeremy Corbyn Islington North Lab aye
John Cummings Easington Lab aye
Ian Davidson Glasgow South West Lab aye
David Drew Stroud Lab aye
Gwyneth Dunwoody Crewe & Nantwich Lab aye
Frank Field Birkenhead Lab aye
Mark Fisher Stoke-on-Trent Central Lab aye
Roger Godsiff Birmingham, Sparkbrook & Small Heath Lab aye
Kate Hoey Vauxhall Lab aye
Kelvin Hopkins Luton North Lab aye
Lindsay Hoyle Chorley Lab aye
Lynne Jones Birmingham, Selly Oak Lab aye
David Marshall Glasgow East Lab aye
John McDonnell Hayes & Harlington Lab aye
Austin Mitchell Great Grimsby Lab aye
Anne Moffat East Lothian Lab aye
George Mudie Leeds East Lab aye
Denis Murphy Wansbeck Lab aye
Alan Simpson Nottingham South Lab aye
Dennis Skinner Bolsover Lab aye
Graham Stringer Manchester, Blackley Lab aye
Gisela Stuart Birmingham, Edgbaston Lab aye
David Taylor North West Leicestershire Lab aye
Paul Truswell Pudsey Lab aye
Mike Wood Batley & Spen Lab aye
Is this the most threatening zone for Gordon Brown after Crewe & Nantwich? Here he is defending himself, I would say, nervously, wouldn’t you? VIDEOLINK.
UPDATE – Could he be closer to falling than people think?
What about this suggestion from a PBer 5 minutes ago?
Does anyone else think we could be a lot closer to a general election than most people assume? The big question is whether Gordon can survive, and it has be be said the chances are looking increasingly slim. Labour MPs know that its almost impossible to launch a formal leadership contest, and yet they have a golden opportunity ahead in the 42 day vote. If Gordon loses this, surely its game over? To lose a vote on the government’s flagship anti-terrorism legislation would be catastrophic, I can’t see how he could survive. If/when he has gone, there will be a leadership election and a new PM – but could Labour really go on until 2010 with a second unelected leader? I just don’t think its feasible, and the public simply wouldn’t stand for it.
I dunno, its just a hunch I have… Anyone else thinking along the same lines?
by Henry C May 23rd, 2008 at 3:37 pm
If enough Labour MPs publicly express disloyalty day by day, and progressively weaken Gordon’s position, then the Commons vote might be used as the mechanism to unseat Brown. But it would need a head of steam building up first.
UPDATE – Saturday – Simon Heffer joins the chorus –
The realists in Labour – of whom there are many – know what they have to do. Otherwise some of the present Cabinet will be lucky to end up as lollipop ladies in a couple of years’ time. The thought of not just unemployment, but of unemployability, will, I fear, concentrate minds. “Pro bono publico, nil bloody panico”, a wistful Labour MP said to me yesterday, quoting the late Tory MP Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles.
But panic, I fear, is precisely what is now required.
And Oborne in Saturday’s Mail
Claims that there is no simple mechanism to replace a Labour prime minister are misleading.
Under party rules, 20 per cent of Labour MPs (that means 71) must publicly call for a leadership election. In practice, however, Gordon Brown would step down if enough MPs want him to go.
A delegation of Labour grandees – the most likely members of such a group would be former leader Neil Kinnock, Justice Secretary Jack Straw and the former acting leader Margaret Beckett – would advise Gordon Brown of their fears. It would be impossible for him to resist.
So Crewe and Nantwich has had a seismic effect on the Labour Party.
This weekend it is in a state of panic and moral collapse. Luckily for the Prime Minister, the timing of the by-election coincides with the Whitsun parliamentary recess, meaning that MPs will be away from Westminster for the next ten days and giving him time to consolidate his leadership.
But this is only a mild consolation. June and July are traditionally feverish months at Westminster, dominated by conspiracy and plot at the best of times.
This summer, with well over 100 Labour MPs fearing they will lose their seats at the next General Election, they could prove deadly for Gordon Brown.
And yet Oborne doesn’t quite get it. He thinks that if Gordon calls in the Blairites – Charles Clarke, Reid and Milburn , and offers them top jobs in cabinet, that would save his Prime Ministership.
Brown is congenitally unable to rescue the situation – full stop.
The Blairites might buy him time, but the situation will only get worse, the longer Labour leaves Brown in situ. Blair regrets not sacking Brown in 2001. Now the country will live in regret until someone does something and gets rid of the Prime Minister who never should have been.