Could this bring the Brown’s leadship issue to a head?
Word reaches me that the former Health Secretary and fervent Blairite, Alan Milburn, is planning to mount a leadership bid to topple Gordon Brown in the aftermath of Labour’s likely heavy defeat in the Crewe & Nantwich by-election.
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this but it comes from somebody I trust who has very close links within the party. Clearly something is going on out there and this weekend would be the ideal time to strike.
Milburn, of course, has never been a friend of Gordon Brown and there were rumours during 2006 and 2007 that he was going run against Gordon to force a proper leadership election.
Whether this is true or not, and I am inclined to believe that it is, there are a number of senior figures within the party who have reason to loathe Gordon. The Prime Minister will be at his weakest in the days after the loss of Crewe and Nantwich and this will be the ideal time to strike.
Andrew Grice in the Independent has also picked up the murmurings but suggests that Charles Clarke would be the stalking horse.