Has Tony Wright MP just thrown Gordon Brown a lifeline? Hat tip to the tireless Paul Waugh blog for digging this out during an election day lull in the Brown storm.
He reports that Tony Wright, the highly respected chair of the Public Administration Committee, has suggested a way that Mr Brown and the Labour Party can get out of this mess.
First, he accepts the Mandelson line that the plotters cannot get rid of the PM without then going to a general election, and none of them want that. Then he suggests the way out for everyone is for Mr Brown to pre-announce the May 2010 election as part of his plan to accept fixed five-year parliaments.
It lets the public know where they stand, stymies the Tories and focuses Labour MPs on their seats and the economy. No move is without risk, of course, but it could be part of Brown's survival strategy over the next week.
Everyone at Westminster appears to be waiting on the English County Council election results before making the next move. Still no sign of that letter against Mr Brown, the Scottish cohort of Labour MPs don't seen to have seen it at any rate. In any case no one will say anything faintly disloyal on an election day anyway for fear of being portrayed as some kind of Hazel Blears figure.
After the morning lobby we can report that the Prime Minister is in Downing Street in "determined" mood we can report, determined that is to focus on the economy and reforming parliamentary expenses. No comment on reshuffles or whether John Reid told him to stand down instead of accepting the post of Home Secretary for a second time.
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