Amongst the 20 emails I’ve published from MPs rounding on Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon yesterday, most are from known supporters of Gordon Brown.
So it’s interesting to note that Tom Levitt and Martin Linton – who have both been critical of Brown’s leadership in the past and called for “a new framework and new narrative” in 2008 – have decided that now is not the right time to question or debate the leadership.
The only email I’ve seen from an MP supporting the calls for a secret ballot is from usual suspect Fiona MacTaggart.
That there were only a handful of supporters of the proposed ballot shows quite how ill-judged the Hoon-Hewitt broadside was, and how – in spite of this “final mutiny” – the party is indeed supportive of the PM. That said, there are still many “undeclared”.
Fiona MacTaggert’s email was written to Tony Lloyd, Chair of the PLP, and forwarded to Hoon and Hewitt. It reads:
I am writing to tell you that I fully support the initiative by Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon. I do not know on what basis you can confidently claim that this call is not supported in the PLP. My concerns about the weak leadership of the party are widely known, since the general secretary of the party shared my request for a leadership ballot with the press 18 months ago and since then I have avoided many opportunities the media have offered me to criticise the prime minister.
My constituents regularly share their similar views with me, it is clear to me from my close contact with the people of Slough that many voters who usually vote labour are very concerned about Gordon’s leadership of our country. Under new leadership we could win their support back, because they have no appetite for a conservative government…
However I really think that we need to deal with this matter finally. The proposal for a ballot of MPs is one which could enable us to close this issue. And I support it.