James Forsyth

The Brownites don’t have the moral authority to talk about party loyalty

The Brownites don't have the moral authority to talk about party loyalty
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Labour are going through a wobble at the moment—which might turn into a collapse on May 1st—and the leadership desperately needs the party to close ranks and MPs to stop making critical statements, on or off record, that fan the flames of the whole government in meltdown story. But here’s the rub: having spent ten years undermining Tony Blair whenever it suited them, the Brownites don’t have the standing to call for party loyalty.

Ed Balls’s interview in The Times last week, which Charles Clarke responds to so furiously in the paper today, contained this wonderfully ironic line: "There would always be people who “have a gripe, a score to settle and disappointments from the past – it was ever thus”, said Mr Balls, the Schools Secretary." One can imagine Blair saying, 'indeed' as he read this.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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