The British prime minister faces one of the most important tests of his leadership today.
Gordon Brown will address the ruling Labour Party’s annual conference against a backdrop of calls for his resignation, and a country heading for recession.
The opposition conservatives still have a significant lead in the polls. A new election could be two years away, but a clutch of junior ministers are pushing to find a more “electable” replacement.
There were rumours that Foreign Secretary David Milliband was siding with them. He has denied that and his speech was certainly nothing but flattering.
“It is no exaggeration to say that you have transformed the political debate about international development in this country over the last eleven years, and we should take inspiration from that,” Milliband said.
Political insiders say the embattled prime minister has been honing today’s message all summer. He is expected to admit mistakes, but not that the country would be better off without him.