More pressure on Brown to resign

The situation is not unlike Blair’s final months, though this time, there is much more pressure and a Prime Minister who lacks the smoothness of Blair to negotiate. It’s also Gordon Brown being chased out instead of him leading the chase. If there is a strong replacement candidate in the wings it would be a complete surprise but it would not take much to be a stronger candidate than Brown. What will next week bring for Gordon?

James Purnell, the work and pensions secretary, last night dealt a ­monumental blow to Gordon Brown’s chances of ­holding onto office when he dramatically announced he was quitting the cabinet and asking Brown “to stand aside to give Labour a fighting chance of winning the next election”.

His statement, in effect declaring Brown unelectable, will further weaken the prime minister’s waning authority and takes the challenge to his leadership to a dangerous level.

Purnell made his sensational move after polls closed in the local and European elections – in which Labour was subsequently decimated across the board, informing Brown by phone last night. It prompted a furious reaction in Number 10 with ministers saying Purnell was profoundly mistaken.

Elsewhere in The Guardian, Brown is referred to as “The half-dead prime minister.” Ouch.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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