Committee Room 14 Fails To Ignite Damp Squib

(BBC) – IN A MEETING THAT HAD BEEN BILLED AS CRUCIAL for Mr Brown’s efforts to remain prime minister, Charles Clarke, a former home secretary, told the prime minister he should quit — as did MPs Fiona McTaggart, Tom Harris and Siobhan McDonagh, the BBC reports.

But BBC political correspondent James Landale said MPs, crammed into the committee room, cheered and banged desks in support of the prime minister.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said there had been ‘no support’ for the rebels who spoke and the meeting had been ‘overwhelmingly’ supportive of the prime minister.

According to his spokesman, Mr Brown told the room: ‘I’m not making a plea for unity, I am making an argument for unity.’

The prime minister said that he had ‘strengths and weaknesses’ and that there were ‘some things I do well and some things not so well.’

Another ex-home secretary, David Blunkett, also told the meeting the rebels should ‘put up or shut up,’ the BBC said.

Loyalist Lord Foulkes said there had been ‘great support for Gordon’ and when Mr Clarke spoke ‘no-one even put their hands together.’

Backbencher Barry Sheerman — who had previously called for a debate on the leadership — said he had expressed his own reservations about Mr Brown; but had been won over by his pledge to consult more and be more transparent.

Mr Sheerman added: ‘If the prime minister sticks to what he says, those of us who have been his critics will stand down for the time being.’

… (09/06/2009) – Brown’s ‘Transparency’ Falls At First Hurdle

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  1. […] … (08/06/2009) – Committee Room 14 Fails To Ignite Damp Squib […]

  2. […] a comment » (Telegraph) – NOT TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AFTER HIS PLEDGE ‘to consult more and be more transparent,’ Gordon Brown promoted yet another MP tarnished by The Daily Telegraph’s expenses […]

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