Peter Hoskin

Discontent is in the air

Discontent is in the air
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This morning's political firecracker comes courtesy of Martin Kettle in the Guardian, who claims that a group of Labour figures are moving to oust Brown in October:

"An active network of MPs and peers now exists, involving some names you might expect, but also others – including big ones – whose participation would surprise you. This group, like probably the majority of Labour MPs, accepts that Brown is a liability to his party's election prospects. Unlike the majority, though, they claim to think something can be done about it. They believe the window of opportunity, if it comes, will be in the two or three weeks after October 12. If Brown can be pushed, then this is the time. They say they are ready to try."

After the abortive coup in June, you doubt whether the plotters will - or can - actually achieve anything.  But Kettle does highlight some potential differences between then and now - e.g. that if Brown had gone in June, there would have been "an irresistible demand" for a near immediate election, whereas, if he goes in October, that demand would "have less purchase".  And the resignation of Eric Joyce as PPS to the Defence Secretary, last night, certainly adds spice to his text.  As numerous folk will point out over the next few days: it was a string of PPS resignations which did for one Anthony Blair.

Whatever happens, this is hardly the kind of backdrop Brown would have chosen for the Labour party conference and the forthcoming G20 summit.  Try making a proper, ahem, "comeback" against this kind of coverage...