Tonight Gordon Brown has suffered a body blow to his diminishing credibility with the resignation of Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell. At 39 Purnell is seen as one of the party’s rising stars and his call for Gordon Brown to “step aside for the sake of the party” is the first overt challenge to his position from a Cabinet member.
With the elections today likely to be awful for Labour the Spectator is reporting that the word on the street is that Foreign Secretary David Miliband will resign tomorrow. This is now taking on the appearance of a co-ordinated campaign. The fact that a Cabinet member was to resign tonight was flagged on the Westminster rumour mill as early as yesterday evening and if Miliband does quit it will be fascinating to see whether he also calls for Brown to go.
The Government is literally collapsing around Brown and I believe that he has little option but to go with some dignity left. An early General Election is looking all the more likely tonight.
UPDATE: I understand that David Miliband has issued a statement saying that he will not be resigning from the Cabinet. It will be an interesting day!
While we wait for the results to come in from today’s local elections, I have found an excellent interactive map of the authorities with elections on the Times’ website. As well as being coloured by political control, the map also show the number of seats for each party if you hover your cursor over it.
Being a bit of a “spotter” about these things, I find these sorts of graphic displays far more informative than any mere list of Councils and seats.
Today voters across the UK have the opportunity to send Gordon Brown a message that it is time for a General Election. By voting Conservative you can help ensure that not only does a mainstream euro-sceptic party represent you in Brussels but also that Gordon Brown gets a message that it is time for a change from his collapsing, discredited Government.
For those that prefer there are even more positive reasons in the Conservative Party European Election Manifesto; namely a Referendum on the Lisbon treaty, tackling global poverty, protecting British consumers, controlling EU finances and opposing further EU encroachment into British affairs.
Today I urge you to vote for that that change by voting Conservative wherever you are.