Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Blair's vanity could wreck Labour

What are we to make of this year's Labour Party Conference? The week began with an apparent consensus between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown over their proposed "orderly handover" but the feeling at the end was that the Prime Minister was set to go "on and on."

Now my old lobby colleague Paddy Hennessy of the Sunday Tel has revealed that the Blairites are talking yet again of putting up Alan Milburn as a rival contender for the leadership, even though he has twice walked away from the political frontline. Read the full story here.

My own view on this is that if Blair does not make way for Brown by 2007 he risks causing a calamitous split in the party that will lose it the next General Election. I explore this further in my post-conference column.

A similar viewpoint came from David Clark - not a journalist by background but increasingly one of the country's most perceptive political commentators - on Guardian Unlimited.

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