Socialist Worker

MPs demand leadership ballot as crisis grows

Issue No. 2119

Panic is spreading in New Labour as it becomes clear that the party faces not just the prospect of defeat at the next general election but an electoral wipe out.

That is what prompted former assistant whip Siobhan McDonagh to break ranks and demand a leadership challenge in the week before the annual conference.

She has been backed by a growing number of MPs demanding a leadership ballot. Whether they can muster the 71 MPs needed to force that remains to be seen.

The party’s general secretary is refusing to issue ballot papers to MPs.

With a few honourable exceptions, such as left wing MP John McDonnell, not one of the possible replacements to Gordon Brown is seriously attempting to address the issues that keep ordinary people awake at night – rising prices, increasing unemployment and job insecurity.

Most of the contenders for Brown’s post, such as David Miliband and Alan Johnson, have all supported the privatisation of public services, promoted war and championed big business.

These people offer nothing to those who want to see policies for working class people.

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Tue 16 Sep 2008, 18:05 BST
Issue No. 2119
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