Hoon & Hewitt call for Secret Ballot on Gordon Browns' Leadership
So where do we go from here? I tweeted on Tuesday 5th January 2010 that 2 ministers would mount a leadership challenge within two weeks. Number 10 “spooks” who routinely monitor my tweets and the Brays Duckhouse Blog would be looking for evidence to put together with their other investigations.
Elsewhere the equally closely monitored and excellent Guido Fawkes ( www.order-order.com ) mused that a ministerial resignation was in the air.
Earlier today, Prime Ministers Questions had just finished when the Hoon/Hewitt e-mail to Labourt MP’s was released, within minutes Andrew Neal live on the Daily Politics had it and a very uncomfortable Nick Robinson who had earlier rubbished all such talk and posturing as mere cyber tittle tattle. Oh Dear Nick!
Sky News carried it and the “Ugly Sisters” Hewitt and Becket were soon doing pieces to camera whilst “Baron Hardup” Hoon was holding forth elsewhere.
The letter is reproduced in full elsewhere in this blog, calling for a secret PLP members ballot.
I have to say it won’t happen the way they desire, as there are party rules for votes and the time isn’t there. But what this all may do is bring forward the date of the election and March 25th is in my view still looking very much stronger.
However Jack Straw in a TV interview let slip that it's sixteen weeks away and that would take us to early May. Jack has been around the block a few times and could just be putting up a false trail...
Baron Hardup “Hoon” has however given the Tories an amazing leg up and if March 25th is the date for the General Election, the Tories can expect an 8-10 percent gain on today’s events alone.
It could however easily play into Gordon Browns hands; as an early snap election date would enable the longer term campaign finances to be concentrated into an all or bust dynamic election campaign.
Clearly the Tories will have booked media, poster sites and other merchandising with a run up to a June date. Calling it at the last minute for March 25th will certainly wrongfoot the anti-Broon camp and leave the Tories with just a half strength election campaign.
As to the future, Broon will now soldier on, possibly calling an early Election basically to get it all over and done with.
I am reliably informed there is nothing to be gained by linking or crediting “Happy Days -The Fonz” American actor Henry Winkler (who just happened to slip into No.10 at the same time, with something bigger) he was simply supporting Mrs Brown, but might have given our Gordon a few make-up tips as clearly the slapstick Gordon is currently enjoying can ruin anyone’s make-up and stress can seriously damage mental health. That question is still awaiting a full medical answer, whcih should be fully addreessed before the Election - but it won't...
You decide! 24 hours is a lifetime in politics…
LONDON (Reuters) - Two former cabinet ministers have called for a secret ballot to decide if Prime Minister Gordon Brown should lead the Labour Party into an election by June, British media reported on Wednesday.
Below is the text of an email sent by Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt to members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), as published on the Sky News website.
House of Commons
As we move towards a General Election it remains the case that the Parliamentary Labour Party is deeply divided over the question of the leadership. Many colleagues have expressed their frustration at the way in which this question is affecting our political performance.
We have therefore come to the conclusion that the only way to resolve this issue would be to allow every member to express their view in a secret ballot.
This could be done quickly and with minimum disruption to the work of MPs and the Government. Whatever the outcome the whole of the party could then go forward, knowing that this matter had been sorted out once and for all.
Strong supporters of the Prime Minister should have no difficulty in backing this approach. There is a risk otherwise that the persistent background briefing and grumbling could continue up to and possibly through the election campaign, affecting our ability to concentrate all of our energies on getting our real message across.
Equally those who want change, should they lose such a vote, would be expected by the majority of the PLP to devote all of their efforts to winning the election. The implications of such a vote would be clear - everyone would be bound to support the result.
This is a clear opportunity to finally lay this matter to rest. The continued speculation and uncertainty is allowing our opponents to portray us as dispirited and disunited. It is damaging our ability to set out our strong case to the electorate. It is giving our political opponents an easy target.
In what will inevitably be a difficult and demanding election campaign, we must have a determined and united parliamentary party. It is our job to lead the fight against our political opponents. We can only do that if we resolve these distractions. We hope that you will support this proposal.
Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt
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