Labour MP: This will be Brown’s last conference
A Labour has MP has predicted this weekend’s party conference will be Gordon Brown’s last as leader.
Alan Simpson, veteran left-winger and Labour rebel, has written an article for the Morning Star, set to appear tomorrow as the Labour conference begins. In it, he launches a scathing attack on both Blairite and Brownite wings of the party, and Mr Brown’s tenure as Labour leader.
“Delegates at the Labour party conference in Manchester should be gentle with Gordon Brown,” he writes.
“It will be his last as Labour leader and prime minister. Gordon is like a Damien Hirst sheep. Trapped in formaldehyde, he lacks the qualities needed for a bold leap that would free him from his own goo.”
He goes on to compare the treacherous plots against Mr Brown to his own calculations in gaining power within the party.
“There will be no direct challenge to Brown,” he writes.
“His demise will come from the drip, drip, drip of underwhelming support within the parliamentary Labour party.
“There is a degree of irony about this. Brown himself worked obsessively to ensure there was no leadership contest when he succeeded Tony Blair. It was a contest Brown would have won hands down, but he wanted a coronation not an election.
“More than that, he wanted to avoid the wide-ranging debate on policy that his potential challenger, John McDonnell MP, was already trying to open up.”
Mr Simpson is firmly on the left of the Labour party, and has the distinction of being one of the most rebellious MPs in paliament – only three other MPs have rebelled against their party whip more often.