Environment Secretary David Miliband has been urged
by a senior Labour MP to challenge Chancellor Gordon Brown for the party
Former minister Frank Field
said Mr Brown was too closely associated with Tony Blair's government and that
he had “indelibly smudged” policy.
The party should instead
consider “jumping a generation”, he wrote in the Guardian
According to the BBC news report Labour
MP David Chaytor said a contest would “strengthen” Mr Brown.
Mr Field, MP for Birkenhead, said the party needed somebody who
“shouts at the electorate that New Labour has already moved on to the next
stage of its life”.
Last week, Mr Milliband
told BBC One's Question Time: “I predict that
when I come back on this programme in six months or a year's time, people will
be saying 'wouldn't it be great to have that Blair back because we can't stand
that Gordon Brown'.”
This could of
course just be a rouse to get David Milliband to put up or shut up, but there
appears to be a growing appreciation that someone of his standing needs to
contest the leadership with Gordon Brown, if only to bring all of the issues
out into the open. To get Gordon Brown
to spell out his past record and have that debated, and to ensure that he lays
out his vision for the future.
race has been somewhat devoid up until now of credible candidates, and those
who were heavyweight enough to take on Brown have already had the political
assassins target them, so perhaps Milliband can raise the necessary support and
make a go of it.
On the opposition
benches there is likely to be widespread support, for a minister who is
generally considered to be inept, to take over Blair’s mantle, as he would make
a far better sparring partner than Brown for David Cameron, and a much more
equal opponent come the General Election.
I think that the
idea has merit, and would bring out the kind of mettle required for the role that
David Milliband may have hidden somewhere.
biggest problem should be possibly win, would be what to do with Gordon Brown?.
Should he keep
him in No.11, should he make him repair the fast unravelling economy, should he
make him distance himself from the Smith Institute, or should he just banish
him to the back benches, and choose a new and honest Chancellor.
Brown somewhat arrogantly believes that the keys to No.10 are already his, and has systematically been going through a process of consolidation. Someone like David Milliband is needed to bring this current Chancellor back into check.