Peter Hoskin

Brown’s in trouble, whatever happens tonight

Brown's in trouble, whatever happens tonight
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So, Brown's judgement awaits, as he goes into his meeting with the PLP in around 5 minutes' time.  To be honest, all the visible signs are that he won't get chucked out tonight: the torrent of resignations expected today was but a trickle; reports are that Downing Street is "relaxed"; and there still seem to be more Brown supporters than detractors willing to speak out in public.  Still, there was very little expectation that James Purnell would resign last Thursday night, so maybe there's something brewing in the shadows for this evening.  We've heard suspiciously little about that "signupnow" email, and what of folk like Charles Clarke and Stephen Byers?  We shall see.

But even if Brown does get through tonight, his position is still impossibly weak.  Let's not forget: he's pretty much the biggest electoral loser in Labour history; his reshuffle may have saved him from mutiny, but it has left him with a divided and - one would imagine - ineffective Cabinet; and he's still got dangers to come, like a Commons debate on the dissolution of Parliament on Wednesday.  This is a PM staggering from one catastrophe to another, and the leadership speculation will follow him like an albatross.  His misery will continue.