Brown coup faces fizzling without new names
(UPDATE: Now includes video of Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon interviews.) This plot desperately needs new names and we wait to see them.
Geoff Hoon, as a former chief whip, knows his way round things, knows very well that previous plots fizzled out and lacked organisation. He would not lightly put his name at the front of this one, I suspect, unless he thought other interesting, fresh names would join in.
As it stands, the momentum is very much with the loyalists. I’ve heard longstanding rebels, one after another, say now is not the time.
A big name or two not previously seen as a rebel would keep this alive. Without it, there is a danger this revolt fizzles out.
Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt both insisted in interviews with me that they had made no contact with any Cabinet minister about today’s letter, not even conversations on a deniable basis, they claimed.
But what a moment. Something like 150 days before a likely election date and senior figures are launching a frontal assault on the party leader.
There’s no precedent I can think of in British politics for such a thing. Only yesterday, Number 10′s trouble scouts thought the coast was pretty clear.
They’re not in meltdown, but they’re angry and waiting to see if Geoff and Patricia have any more shots to fire.