Peter Hoskin

The Brown ultimatum

The Brown ultimatum
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Yet more talk of Brown's potential demise.  This time in today's Standard - a story (not online) about how backbenchers are giving the Prime Minster until May 2009 to "improve or stand down" (quite how they'd force this through is another question...).  Here's what a "former minister" had to tell the paper:

"I do not believe Gordon would want to lead the party to a severe defeat if it could be avoided by the positive momentum that a change of leader could provide ....  If the party's position has not improved by May next year; it will probably mean it is irreparable without a fresh face in charge." 

It's difficult to know how much to make of it all.  On the one hand - as Matthew said yesterday - Brown will almost certainly lead Labour into the next election.  But, on the other, such open dissension could undermine his premiership no end.  The Tories will be rubbing their hands together with glee.