The British Local Government Secretary, Hazel Blears has stirred up a political storm after warning Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government faced disaster at the next election. Writing in a leading Sunday newspaper, Blears also mocked the recent use of new media by Brown when he used the Downing Street YouTube site to announce reforms of politicians’ allowances.
Her critics inside the Labour Party said that, coupled with her accusation that the government was guilty of a “lamentable failure to communicate”, Blears had made a direct attack on her boss. But a former Blears aide, the MP Stephen Pound, disputed her disloyalty: “She is saying there will be a titanic battering for the government and the party. If you are saying the government IS Gordon Brown – that amounts to a presidential system which we don’t have in this country.” The opposition Conservatives under leader David Cameron are 18 points ahead in the polls, indicating Labour is facing defeat for the first time since its own landslide win in 1997. Plotters within the Labour Party say time is running out for the Prime Minister’s leadership.