GENERAL ELECTION 2010: GORDON BROWN ADMITS, 'I COULD WALK’
GORDON Brown last night hinted for the first time that he may quit if Labour fails to win a Commons majority at the General Election.
As a clutch of opinion polls put Labour into a humiliating third place, the Prime Minister appeared to suggest he might be ready to stand aside. “I’m only here because I want to make a difference,” he said.“ If I cannot make a difference, I go.” His admission of vulnerability followed a warning from Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg that working with Brown in a Lib-Lab pact might prove “difficult”.
Westminster insiders believe negotiations in a hung Parliament could mean Mr Brown may have to go so a deal can be made between Mr Clegg and a new Labour leader such as David Miliband. Brown yesterday suggested Labour and the Lib Dems could work together in a “progressive alliance”, but his coded olive branch was rejected by Clegg, who said: “I think there is something frankly desperate about the Labour Party and Gordon Brown.”
Some Labour ministers were understood to be furious with Brown for making conciliatory gestures towards the Lib Dems, effectively conceding that their party had given up hope of winning an outright majority in the Commons.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne yesterday mocked the Labour collapse, saying: “The real story of this election has been the disintegration of the Labour campaign.” Osborne said the Prime Minister had been reduced to “pathetically pleading for his job in public”, and compared Labour’s faltering campaign with its collapse against Margaret Thatcher in 1983. “We are not far from a Michael Foot moment, where the Labour party holds a press conference to say Gordon Brown is still the leader of the party,” he added.
Labour insiders complain that the campaign team is struggling to make any decisions because officials are cowed by the Prime Minister. They are used to Gordon Brown rubbishing any suggestions that are not his own.
These are the comments so far and, I must say, I couldn't have put it better myself - in fact, a few of us bloggers have already been saying just this.....