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Monday, May 15, 2006

Stand by your man, Gordon

Things must getting fraught in the upper echelons of the Labour Cabinet. Today's Independent tells us that Tony Blair has warned Gordon Brown that he will not endorse him as his successor if he is "deposed" as Prime Minister before he is ready to stand down.

Mr Blair is said to have issued the threat last week after Mr Brown recalled the way Margaret Thatcher was forced out by her own party in 1990. "Remember that when Margaret Thatcher left, it was unstable, it was disorderly and it was undignified," the Chancellor told GMTV.

According to allies, the Prime Minister viewed Mr Brown's remarks as a "naked threat" to force him out of office. One said: "It was communicated to Gordon that if Tony was deposed, he and his supporters would not support Gordon as the next leader."

Blairites deny they plan to put up a rival candidate against Mr Brown, the overwhelming front-runner to succeed Mr Blair. Yesterday friends of John Reid, the Blairite Home Secretary, dismissed reports that he was canvassing support for a leadership bid.

The Prime Minister may be feeling a bit insecure at the moment but my judgement is that he has the upper hand in this contest at the moment and that he will not relinquish it easily.
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