Some reaction to the letter from Twitter and elsewhere…
Gordon Brown is the best man to lead Labour.
The vast majority of PLP members are clear: let’s get on with the job of government. Gordon Brown absolutely will lead Labour into the election and he has the support of the cabinet and the vast majority of my colleagues on the backbenches. This will be seen as an incident, but it will be forgotten. Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt don’t have the influence to do what they’ve tried to do today. I’m sure [David Miliband] is supporting Gordon Brown.
They’ve misjudged the mood on this one. This wil be gone as quickly as it’s arrived. It’s frustrating: Gordon demolished David Cameron in PMQs today and he’s had the better of David Cameron at PMQs for a while now. We were beginning to make inroads, the Tories were beginning to wobble. But this is politics; people are entitled to make their views known. But this doesn’t represent the majority of the movement. We’ve got a united cabinet, a good strong record – now’s the time to get out their with that record, to talk about what this Labour government has achieved, what this Prime Minister’s acheived. I accept my role in that too. We have to take the fight to the Tories.
We’re getting on with the job of government. Most people are looing at this and thinking we’ve lost our marbles; the important thing is that we get on, have a strengthening recovery. The majority of the PLP will have seen Gordon Brown doing brilliantly at PMQs, really putting David Cameron on the spot. I’ve got a lot of respect for Geoff and Patricia, but I don’t they’re speaking for the majority of the PLP. I’ve spoken to the PM, but he’s getting on with doing the job; he’s got a busy job this afternoon. There’s always been noising off – in any political party. Gordon Brown is the best leader to take us into the election and the best person to take Britain through the recession. Today will be seen as a damp squib, the reality is that we are united. It’s frustrating to have had a really good PMQs and then have the media moving on to these issues. Peter Manelson and Shaun Woodward are both behind the PM – and we’ll see that from other cabinet ministers in the coming hours. The real politics and divisions could be seen in PMQs. This Labour Party is more united now than it’s ever been. We have to take the argument to the country in a disciplined way. This afternoon is a diversion, but we’ll move beyond it very quickly. Peter Mandelson put it very well: the cabinet is united behind Gordon Brown. We can win the argument at the ballot box. This week has been a very good week for the Labour goverment.
No one should over react to this initiative. The Prime Minister continues to have the support of the cabinet. We will carry on as normal.
Will Straw says “Hewitt and Hoon are Labour’s Dumb and Dumber”
This is a school yard campaign. I’m 100% behind Gordon Brown because he’s done a superb job. Around Britain, people will be astonished by this action. We think the right thing to o is get on and sort out the country. Jack Straw and Alistair Darling are doing their jobs. Geoff and Pat should withdraw this.
One of the “usual suspects” is privately saying this “plot” is a “damp squib” <—It’s going nowhere
I think it’s probably time for a secret ballot we can all take part in.
Pat Hewitt’s been raking it in from the private sector using her contacts book. This is going nowhere; it’ll be over by the end of the day. Hoon has sour grapes because he didn’t get the gravy train European job — I’d like to take him into a backroom and sort him out personally. They’re two pompous idiots.
I have written to Tony Lloyd, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, to support Geoff Hoon’s and Patricia Hewitt’s proposal for a secret ballot of the Parliamentary Labour Party. I believe that this is the best way to resolve the many concerns which exist within the PLP and the ballot could be organized in a very few days. If such a ballot does confirm the Prime Minister in his leadership I will categorically accept that result and give him my public and private support through to the General Election.
This is a waste of time, a big mistake – it should be ignored.
Supporters of the PM should welcome and support the secret ballot. It’s clear in retrospect that it’s a pity that there was no leadership election when Tony Blair left in 2007. A ballot could happen next Monday. Geoff and I have not been canvassing on this; this is not a plot. We’ve one this because we believe this is in the best interests of the Labour Party. We want an end to the public division, the briefings. The division is weakening our attack on the Conservatives. We’ve ha months punctutaed by public calls for the PM to go, by resignation, by speculation, by private worry. I have people in my constituency who strongly support the PM, but who want the matter resolved. We’re saying quite straightforwardly and publicly: secret ballot, do it quickly, so everyone can abide by the result.
Labour doesn’t want a vote on the leadership.; it is ludicrous to suggest it would be helpful.
A secret ballot is not possible maccording to Labour Party rules.
Gordon Brown will be the leader next week and at the general election. There won’t be a secret ballot because there is not the demand. It’s pinprick stuff, but it deflects from us talking about our own policies.
As a former chief whip I’ve been extremely concerned by the level of doubt in the PLP. I’ve had several emails within minutes saying what a good idea this is…If there is a clear majority of the PLP in favour of maintaining the current leaership, we can go on and fight the election…There are large concerns amongst Labour MPs…a widesprea group of MPs…about our inability to get our message across, and continuing questions about the Labour leadership…It will not be in the interest of the Labour Party to go into an election campaign with these issues rumbling on. If this matter is resolved once an for all, then everyone has to accept the result. Clarifying matters will help. The choice is between continuing ivision an uncertaintly an resolving the matter and uniting behind a leader.
Tony Lloyd, Chair PLP
“This is a diversion, not where we ought to be heading…there is no constitutional provision for this kind of sideshow”
I am at a loss for words. The time for complaining was June. Not now.
This is just self-indulgence from people who could have spoken up at any time in the past 2 years. Why now?!
Would like to tweet what all the Labour Party members are saying about hoon and hewitt but mostly too abusive.
Rather brilliant wheeze from Hoon and Hewitt. Is Gordon enough of a democrat? I wonder
It’s now or never
My money is on never
Bizarre, weirdly timed and destructive.
Geraldine Smith MP
A secret ballot is a coward’s charter..this is a small group of people…they’ve been pulling these stunts for a year…I’m extremely disappointed
Even if there were to be a ballot, it would only have one outcome. So what’s the point in this? Futile and damaging.
the idea of a secret ballot, a secret f***ing ballot of 352 people to decide the fate of the PM?! This is Britain!
Miliband, Mandelson, Darling or Straw. If you have the bloodlust, now’s your chance.
Is Hoon and Hewitt actually really are labour people shouldn’t they be fighting for a fourth term instead of being morons…
Agree RT @benmiskell: If we want a Tory govt this type of rubbish certainly helps. The time for a change in leader passed along time ago
Plotting MPs would be looked on a lot better if they delivered some leaflets instead of calling the media. #Doorstepsnotdarkcorners
Makes a change that Hoon and Hewitt aren’t both former ministers who are bitter Blairites. Oh wait…
Message to hoon & hewitt – that ship has sailed! If your plan was to undermine the hardwork of 1000s of activists your succeeding
geoff hoon may well just have cost Labout the election, thanks for that…idiot.
If Geoff Hoon thinks you’re doing a bad job surely you’re doing something right
Spectacularly bad timing by Hoon after excellent PMQs. Unless someone in the Govt joins this “rebellion” it’s doomed before it even begins
First sight of Blairite coup letter via Tory site. Says it all.
Polls narrowing, Cameron wobbling, Brown wins PMQs. Hoon-Hewitt raise leadership. Labour has a death wish
anti-Brown plot breaks http://bit.ly/66oIfO love the idea that balloting MPs on ditching GB cd be done with ‘minimum disruption’…
Geoff Hoon got me a VIP entrance into a Derby County football match back in 2000. And I liked Hewitt. Shame really.