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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:46 PM
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MPs Say They Will Enforce Blair and Brown Truce/ UK
From the new World Media Watch up now at

Tomorrow at

2//The Independent, UK 12 January 2005


By Andrew Grice and Colin Brown

Labour MPs vowed yesterday that they would take action to force Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to stick to their truce because they are worried that their bitter feud will erupt again before the general election.

Many Labour backbenchers fear that relations between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are so frosty that their hastily struck ceasefire will soon give way to another outbreak of damaging hostilities.

Concern that the feud could harm Labour's election prospects led to the warning delivered to Mr Blair and Mr Brown at Monday's meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). The Prime Minister insisted that he had "got the message" and the Chancellor moved to heal the wounds yesterday by insisting that he trusted the Prime Minister - contradicting the claim in a new book about him, Brown's Britain.


There is also tension between the Chancellor and the former health secretary over the contents of the Labour manifesto. Mr Milburn, like Mr Blair, wants an "unremittingly New Labour" programme to show the party has not run out of steam and prevent the election becoming a referendum on the Prime Minister.

But Mr Brown is cautious about promising a new raft of reforms to extend the role of the market into public services that are not carefully thought out. As the clear front-runner to succeed Mr Blair before the election after next, the Chancellor does not want to inherit what allies call "half-baked policies and gimmicks".

Despite yesterday's show of unity, Labour MPs are worried that the media will now view everything through the prism of the Blair-Brown rift, and that the image of a divided party will take hold with the public. "We are not prepared to see the party self-destruct," one MP said last night. "But there is a fear that things are so bad that we won't be able to paper over the cracks for very long."




Exclusive poll: Vote would rise by one-third if Chancellor replaced Blair

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor

11 January 2005

Labour would enjoy a dramatic rise in support if Gordon Brown rather than Tony Blair led the party into the general election, according to a poll by NOP for The Independent.

The survey suggests that the Chancellor would increase Labour's ratings by a third - winning over people who are undecided or who would back the Liberal Democrats if Mr Blair remains his party's leader.

The findings will reignite the debate about whether Mr Blair should have quit last year. A book serialised at the weekend claimed that a promise to Mr Brown to stand down because he had become a liability after the Iraq war was broken.

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