Brown hits all time low ..........


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Cherie Blair: Gordon tried to drive Tony out but now he wants his help to win an election

Cherie Blair last night accused Gordon Brown of trying to drive her husband out of Number 10 - by "rattling the keys" of Downing Street above his head. She claimed Mr Brown, who was then Chancellor, attempted to force Tony Blair out of power as long ago as April 2004.

In two extraordinary interviews to coincide with the surprise early release of her autobiography, Mrs Blair laid bare the extent of the feud between the two men at the heart of Labour's most successful government. Despite lifting the lid on the men's arguments, Mrs Blair revealed the two are now talking - with the embattled Prime Minister taking advice from his predecessor on how to win the next election.

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Best of enemies: Gordon Brown and
Cherie Blair at a party conference in 2004


But her comments are likely to anger Mr Brown, with whom she admits she has long had a tempestuous relationship. The 53-year-old lawyer said: "I thought he was putting too much pressure on Tony to leave when Tony wasn't ready." She also dramatically revealed that Mr Blair was preparing to quit before the 2005 General Election - but Mr Brown refused to implement his proposed shake-up of schools and hospitals.

The book threatens to embarrass the Prime Minister by opening old wounds within the Labour government. It comes as Mr Brown faces the most serious political crisis of his eight-month leadership in the wake of disastrous local election results at the beginning of the month.

In interviews and extracts from the memoirs, Speaking For Myself, Mrs Blair delivers an authoritative account of the reasons why her husband waited so long to stand down - a decision which strained his relationship with his Chancellor to breaking point. "There was no doubt in April 2004 with Gordon rattling the keys above us as to whether he was still an asset to the Labour party," she writes. "I was determined Tony was not going to resign and that he was going to win the next election."
She said Mr Blair - whom she compares to Winston Churchill - had suffered a 'crisis of confidence' over Iraq and feared that he had become an electoral liability.

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But even as Mr Blair considered stepping down, Mr Brown refused to back his plans on city academies, foundation hospitals and pension reforms. Mrs Blair, who practices law as Cherie Booth QC, said: "Tony would have stood down, there is no question. Instead of which Tony felt he had no option but to stay on and fight for the things he believed in." The mother of four added: "Tony used to say in terms of ability that Gordon was way ahead of everyone.

"The irony is, if they'd only worked as closely as originally agreed, Gordon's chance would have come sooner." Elsewhere, Mrs Blair denies that her former "style guru" Carole Caplin is "dodgy", claiming: "She kept me thin." But she also admits that Miss Caplin signed a confidentiality agreement. Mrs Blair - who is understood to have received a substantial sum for her memoirs - also did little to dispel her reputation as a woman who watches the pennies closely.

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Cherie Blair says her husband had made it clear to his predecessor that he wouldn't be leader forever She said she was furious with Mr Brown after he told Labour's first Cabinet meeting in 1997 not to take a 26 per cent pay rise. Mrs Blair - who said she had taken a pay cut when her husband became PM - revealed: "Tony told me as soon as he got back to the flat. I couldn't believe it as the Tories were taking it. It meant Tony would be earning less than William Hague.

"I remember sitting at the table at the kitchen at No 10 with my head in my hands and staring at the now completely redundant financial breakdown as Tony tried to calm me down, but I wouldn't be calmed down. "How dare Gordon do that? What did he know about financial commitments? He was a bachelor living on his own in a flat with a small mortgage."

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She vehemently denied recent claims by Lord Levy, her husband's former chief fundraiser and close confidant, that Mr Blair does not believe his successor can beat David Cameron's Tories.

She said: "Lord Levy doesn't know anything. I know Tony thinks Gordon could win the election and I know that he has spoken to Gordon about how he could do that. Tony has given Gordon advice. He and Gordon talk to each other even now." And, despite their tensions, Mrs Blair said she takes no pleasure from Mr Brown's current difficulties - and is said to be dismayed by Labour's falling fortunes. The party is still reeling from its drubbing in the local elections and has this week fallen an enormous 26 points behind the Tories in the opinion polls.

At just 23 per cent, Labour's support is at its lowest ebb since political polling began in the 1930s. Mr Brown also faces the humiliating prospect of defeat in the Crewe by-election later this month - even though it has been a safe Labour seat for decades. Senior ministers are understood to be dismayed over attempts to mock Conservative candidate Edward Timpson for being a "toff". Mr Brown has been warned that launching a "class war" against the lawyer - the son of John Timpson, the founder of the key- cutting chain - on the campaign trail are backfiring.

Stephen Carter, Mr Brown's new strategy chief, is understood to have told his boss and senior ministers that class-based attacks on the Tories are turning voters off and should be abandoned.
The timing of the publication of Mrs Blair's autobiography came as a surprise, having originally been scheduled for the autumn. It is being published next week.

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Sensation …Cherie Blair’s book
Is being serialized in the Sun
 
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Uzuri Cherie ni kipanga wa kutupwa. she has proved that behind anyman success there is a woman. Poor Gordon. Kakimbilia No 10 sasa ndiyo anajua utamu wa no 10
 
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Brown hits all-time low in shock new survey

·PM 'worse than Cameron' on all tests
· Working hours plan starts fightback

Andrew Rawnsley and Jo Revill The Observer, Sunday May 11 2008

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Gordon Brown during a press conference at Stormont, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty images

Gordon Brown has suffered a devastating collapse in his public standing, according to a new survey published in The Observer today which will put his leadership under intensified pressure.

As the Prime Minister begins his fightback with new proposals entitling mothers to more flexible working hours, the research shows that only one in five voters thinks he is doing a good job. He is rated worse than David Cameron on every key leadership quality, including competence, decisiveness, fairness, likeability, trustworthiness and strength.

A unique opinion tracker using a panel of 5,000 voters, much larger than conventional opinion polls, reveals that he is floundering in his attempt to campaign for public respect after Labour's large losses in the council elections. Three-quarters think he is doing a bad job, and nearly half of them believe he is doing a very bad job, according to the first results from the survey, which was published on the website PoliticsHome.com.

In what is expected to be one of his toughest weeks yet, Brown is expected to show his support for the rights of millions more mothers to request flexible working hours as Labour attempts to pick itself up after its disastrous showing in the local elections.

A government review by Sainsbury's human resources director Imelda Walsh will recommend that millions of working mothers should gain the right to demand flexible hours. At present only mothers of children up to the age of six, those caring for elderly relatives or those whose child has a disability are entitled to make such a request.

Walsh will suggest that the current age limit should be at least doubled to include children up to 12, giving new rights to a least 2.6 million parents. Her recommendations are expected to be 'warmly' received by Downing Street.

Later this week the Prime Minister is expected to announce a draft legislative programme for the next parliamentary session, foreshadowing the Queen's Speech in the autumn.

But the scale of the downturn in his personal reputation with voters will further swell mounting anxiety among Labour MPs and ministers, especially those defending marginal seats. It is bound to amplify concerns that Brown lacks the presentational skills and leadership qualities to turn round the government's fortunes. There is speculation about a challenge to his leadership as Labour backbenchers reel from the impact of their party's massacre in the local elections and the fear of losing the Crewe and Nantwich by-election to a resurgent Tory party on 22 May.

Based on internet responses from a 5,000-strong panel taken over the past five days, the survey shows that Brown's overall satisfaction rating has crashed to minus 55 per cent. Fewer than a quarter of voters now think he is the best person to be in Number 10. And 43 per cent choose Cameron as best Prime Minister against just 23 per cent for Brown.

The panel was also asked to say what sort of government they would prefer if forced to choose between a Brown-led government and a Cameron one. This is often a better predictor than party shares of the outcome of general elections. A Tory government is preferred to a Labour one by a margin of 50 to 32 per cent. There are more voters who think the Conservatives would do a better job of governing than there are voters who think they would do a worse job.

In every key leadership category, Brown is now seen less favourably than his rival. Cameron is seen as more caring, competent, decisive, effective, fair, forward-looking, in touch with normal people, intelligent, likeable and moderate. He is also rated as stronger, more reliable and more trustworthy.

More damage was done to Brown's leadership last night as John Prescott revealed in his memoirs that he had urged Tony Blair to sack his Chancellor, but that Blair was 'scared' of him. The former Deputy Prime Minister described Brown as 'annoying, bewildering and prickly'.

Brown is also fighting demands for Scottish independence, and last night said: 'I will do whatever is necessary to ensure the stability and maintenance of the Union.' The Prime Minister called for pro-Union parties, together with business and trade unions, to form an alliance to prevent the breakup of the UK.
 
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Labour contemplating about sacking brown

Labour 21 points adrift in new poll

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Gordon Brown was given a drubbing in the Henley by-election

Gordon Brown has begun his second year as Prime Minister 21 points behind in the polls and reeling from a by-election humiliation and calls for him to quit.

His first anniversary on Friday was marked by a disastrous fifth place in the Henley by-election which led one party figure to say it should "seriously consider" ditching him. And former chief fundraiser Lord Levy's verdict was followed by a ComRes poll for the Independent which put the Conservatives on 46% - enough for a 212-seat Commons majority.

David Cameron's Opposition rose two points while Labour, which came behind the Green Party and the BNP in Henley and lost its deposit, slumped five to25%. The seat, vacated by London mayor Boris Johnson, was held by the Conservatives and David Cameron said the emphatic win showed his party was a credible alternative government. Mr Brown, on a visit to Manchester to launch his new public services reform programme, attempted to play down the defeat saying: "By-elections come and by-elections go."

"Of course we have to listen to what people say," he added. "But my main job is to improve our public services, to get the economy moving forward, to make sure that in the health service and education people have the best services that they want and I am going to continue to do that." Mr Cameron said the by-election was "disastrous" for Labour and he said he was heartened that, for the first by-election in a long time, the Tory candidate also picked up votes from the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Howell took the seat with 19,796 votes to the Lib Dem candidate Stephen Kearney's 9,680. Labour's Richard McKenzie could only poll 1,066 votes, behind the Green Party's Mark Stevenson on 1,321 and the BNP's Timothy Rait on 1,243.
Brown will never win an election ....What next for the Labour party?


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Leave me alone! Ah...............
 
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I hear she is one of the richest women in Britain coz she owns matrix Chambers.
 
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Labour needs real change - Miliband

David Miliband sets out vision of how Labour can win the next election" David Miliband has set out his vision of how Labour can win the next election, insisting the party needs to offer "real change". The Foreign Secretary said Labour needed a "summer of introspection", adding the "starting point is not debating personalities". But many political commentators will interpret the wide-ranging remarks, made in a newspaper article, as the launch of a leadership bid.

Mr Miliband is seen as a front-runner to succeed Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is coming under increasing pressure to resign. Writing in The Guardian newspaper, Mr Miliband said: "New Labour won three elections by offering real change, not just in policy but in the way we do politics. "We must do so again. So let's stop feeling sorry for ourselves, enjoy a break, and then find the confidence to make our case afresh." He warned the party must not yield to "fatalism", arguing that the next election can still be won. And he called for a more mature relationship with the electorate, with the politicians needing to be more humble about their shortcomings.

Mr Miliband did not make any overt criticism of the Prime Minister, but neither does the article suggest Mr Brown is the only man for the job.
He said that with hindsight the Government should have started NHS reforms sooner and planned better for how to win peace in Iraq.
Brown in real danger now to lose his premiership less than two years since he took over the job.
 
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TWO Labour backbenchers today called on Gordon Brown to sack Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

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Face off ... David Miliband refuses to rule himself out as a contender for Gordon Brown's crown

The MPs want Mr Miliband to go following his controversial newspaper article which sparked wild speculation about the Foreign Secretary’s leadership ambitions. Labour has been plunged into the throes of a leadership punch-up – between a furious Brown and Miliband. Mr Miliband, dubbed Brains because of his giant intellect, yesterday pointedly refused to rule himself out as a contender to replace the embattled Premier. But he is up against the brawn of Mr Brown, the political heavyweight known as the Clunking Fist. Geraldine Smith said Mr Miliband was “trying to stir up trouble” and should get on with his job, adding that if he was sacked he would return to being a “nonentity” on the backbenches. Bob Marshall-Andrews accused Mr Miliband of “pretty contemptible politics” and said his behaviour had been “duplicitous”.

Mr Miliband today insisted that he was not “running a leadership campaign” and believed Mr Brown could hang on as leader. Speaking on BBC2’s Jeremy Vine show, the Foreign Secretary said: “I am not running a leadership campaign. I have always wanted to support Gordon’s leadership.” Asked if the PM could “hang on”, Mr Miliband replied: “Yes, of course. Look, this leader of the Labour Party has got huge experience, he has got good values.”

Signal

He defended his decision to publish an article in yesterday’s Guardian which was widely seen as destabilising for the Prime Minister. “I think the worst thing at the moment would be if we all went mute,” he said. “I think it’s right that we say that, sure we’ve taken some hits, but actually we’ve got ideas about the future of the country, we do want to engage with people.” He added: “Gordon Brown is the leader of our party. I have always supported Gordon’s leadership of the party. I think the party has benefited from the fact that he has brought people on, he’s got a strong team, and we should all be contributing.” Mr Brown immediately unleashed his allies in the party to clobber Mr Miliband as “disloyal and immature”. The Foreign Secretary did not throw his hat in the ring. But he offered the PM only lukewarm backing – which some observers saw as a signal that he may stand as leader.

And asked if his party would be “mad” to dump Mr Brown, he quipped: “The Labour Party never does mad things.” The crisis erupted after Mr Miliband penned an article in Left Wing Bible The Guardian yesterday. He deliberately failed to mention Mr Brown by name. But he triggered talk of his own leadership hopes by spelling out his blueprint for running the Labour Party and the country. The Foreign Secretary even reeled off a list of Labour’s failings. He struck while the Premier was away on holiday and may have appeared vulnerable. And the move came just days after Labour was hammered in a by-election – sparking fears among MPs that Mr Brown cannot win a General Election.

Mr Miliband then followed up by failing to take the opportunity at a news conference yesterday to stamp out talk that he is after the PM’s job.
Asked if Mr Brown is the “only” person who can lead Labour into the next election, Mr Miliband, 43, replied simply: “Can Gordon lead us into the next election and win? Yes, I’m absolutely certain about that.” But he refused to confirm that Mr Brown, 57, was the ONLY figure who could lead Labour at the polls. He said: “Gordon Brown is the leader of the Labour Party and he will lead us forward to address the big issues.” Asked to rule himself out as a future leader, he said: “How many times do I have to say, this is about arguments, about issues, about a united Labour response.” In response to another similar probe, he shot back: “I’m not campaigning for anything other than a successful Labour Government.” While careful to mildly praise the PM, at no time did Mr Miliband lavish him with plaudits or try to kill speculation. He went on: “I believe that the future of this country depends on a clear policy agenda based on clear values, strong values. “Does Gordon Brown have those values and that vision? Yes.”

But Mr Brown’s allies then came out fighting.

One very close supporter said: “David had the opportunity to close this speculation down and calm everything and he didn’t take it. “I am afraid his ego has clouded his judgment.

Attack

“If his intention was to focus his attack on the Tories and get away from this current round of navel gazing, he has succeeded in doing the direct opposite.
“David has displayed disloyalty but also with it immaturity in allowing his head to be turned by all this stuff about the leadership. “It is time for him to calm down and do his job. He has more than enough to be getting on with as Foreign Secretary. “It was pretty extraordinary to write an article like that when the Prime Minister is coming under attack. “David has revealed himself to be not only disloyal but self-serving.” The response from the PM’s camp tees up an extraordinary spat between two of the top men in government. One of the PM’s options is to fire the Foreign Secretary in a September Cabinet reshuffle. But he will be reluctant to act too severely because it could lead to resignations in sympathy.

Other Labour figures weighed in yesterday, led by one of Mr Brown’s most hated foes Peter Mandelson. The EU trade commissioner admitted on the BBC that Labour is in “a state of some flux”. And former minister Denis Macshane added: “Labour MPs should follow Miliband’s leadership.”

Many backbenchers voiced delight at the Foreign Secretary’s words.
One said: “At last, here is someone saying it’s not all over and we can still beat the Tories. “He has also shown he’s got the guts to stand up and be counted.” Tory Shadow Chancellor George Osborne calls in The Sun today for an Autumn election for the good of the nation, claiming Mr Brown has lost control. Last night Tory leader David Cameron said: “I don’t want us to win just because Labour are failing – I want us to win because we deserve to.”
All Change it will be more Brownish than Millish or vice versa. Game on..
 
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Tony Blair has launched a scathing attack on his successor Gordon Brown's performance as Prime Minister, it has been reported.

In a secret memo, obtained by the Mail on Sunday newspaper, the former premier accused Mr Brown of making a "fatal" mistake by repudiating Mr Blair's record in Labour's first decade in power. Mr Blair claimed that Conservative leader David Cameron was "in trouble" before he left Downing Street last June, but that Mr Brown's "lamentable" strategy has allowed the Tories to present themselves as the party of the future.

In trying to distance himself from the Blair era by renouncing "spin" and promising to be honest, Mr Brown "dissed our own record" and effectively accepted Tory propaganda, warned the memo. The emergence of the document will increase pressure on the embattled Prime Minister as he draws up a strategy to lift Labour from its lowest trough in the polls for a generation.

It comes just days after Blair protege David Miliband sparked renewed speculation about Mr Brown's position with a newspaper article which set out a vision for Labour's future without once mentioning the Prime Minister. A spokesman for Mr Blair's office declined to say whether the memo was genuine, saying only: "Tony Blair continues to be 100% supportive of Gordon Brown and the Government." Referring to himself as "TB", Mr Brown as "GB" and New Labour as "NL", Mr Blair argued that Mr Brown had a choice between presenting himself as representing a break from his predecessor or saying he would build on his achievements.

And he said that Mr Brown "junked the TB policy agenda but had nothing to put in its place". According to the Mail on Sunday, the memo was written last autumn, after a conference season which saw Mr Brown back away from a snap General Election following a sudden shift in the polls in the Tories' favour.
Huu mpambano inakuwa mkali .............GB on the knife edge.
 
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Wakati anaanza u-PM huyu bwana watu wengine tulitabiri kuwa ndio ungekuwa mwisho wa Labour, lakini kuna watu hapa wakasema Conservatives hawarudi tena madarakani. Sasa naona sasa hivi Labour hadi wanataka kupitwa na Liberal Democrats. Wana hali mbaya sana na GB inaonekana kazi ya U-PM ni kubwa mno kwake kuliko hata urais kwa JK!
 

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