James Forsyth

What we have learnt today

What we have learnt today
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Three things stand out to me from today. First of all there is little Cabinet love for Brown: there was no stampede of Ministers rushing out to offer their support to him and several have yet to say anything. Also many of the statements of support contained precious little enthusiasm for Brown. The second thing is that you can't bring down a Labour leader without support from the bulk of the Parliamentary party. This plot is simply too narrowly constructed.

Finally, the Tory reaction has been intriguing. On the one hand they are delighted. They know that the electorate hates divided parties. They are also aware that it covers up a bad week for them. But on the other hand, they get very jumpy at the thought that the plot might succeed. They are painfully aware that Brown is their biggest electoral asset and that a Labour change of leader would pre-empt their 'time for a change' message.