Team Brown’s clearly spooked by the 10p tax rebellion (and so it should be – as Jackie Ashley pointed out yesterday
, the repercussions could be massive). The evidence? Well, the Prime Minister called Angela Smith
all the way from America, to prevent her from resigning; he struck an unusually conciliatory tone
in last night’s Parliamentary Labour Party meeting; and now there’s the news
that Alistair Darling is to personally meet with concerned backbenchers ahead of next week’s vote on the Finance Bill.
But will the rebels be swayed by all this? Quite possibly. If this Government’s good at anything, it’s putting the screws on its members. How else to explain Gerry Sutcliffe’s incredible “my comments do not accurately reflect my views” back-down? Or even Kate Hoey’s excuse for her Boris campaign no-show? We just have to hope that helping low-income earners is too important a cause for the rebels to drop.