Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why Brown won't go (and won't be pushed eirher)

In today's Daily Torygraph, Mayor of London Boris Johnson writes of his 11pm realisation that Brown will hold his job - cheese in the fridge gave it all away. Boris argues that he could go on a diet, rather like Brown could be given the boot. But rather like starting his diet, he reckons that Labour MPs just can't be bothered to start the process. I disagree.

I think that Brown will survive but for a very different reason; no senior level MP will wield the knife. The backbenches may want Brown to go, but they need some heavyweight support to do it. If any cabinet minister does that, then not only will the cash strapped Labour Party have to foot the bill for a contest (which they can't afford) then they might actually become leader themselves. They would then have to go on to lose the next election, no matter who becomes leader, and take the blame for a drubbing. Now Jack Straw may be willing to do this, but no serious contender will. Now that the polls show Labour badly behind under all leaders, they are going to wait and let Brown fall on the grenade instead of them.

I may regret saying this, but the next Labour leadership contest will be held against the backdrop of Cameron's first government.

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