Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Plotters throw snowballs at cabinet

Tailspinning out of a dramatic day comes this at 10pm:

Last night, as the opposition played up the divisions in Labour, Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander, the International Development Minister, were claimed to be among six cabinet members that the coup plotters believed would be sympathetic to their cause.

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson, a man hotwired to Westminster, said the plotters - by which he meant Hoon and Hewitt had named six cabinet members they believed would be ready to back a bid to get rid of Brown.

The other cabinet members named by the BBC as potential supporters of a coup were Harriet Harman, David Miliband, Bob Ainsworth, and Jack Straw, who led the eventual rebuttal of the rebellion yesterday afternoon

“It is frankly ludicrous to say this,” said a spokesman for the Scottish Secretary last night. “Mr Murphy said at 2pm that this was a distraction."

Earlier Mr Murphy emphasised that the party should focus on economic recovery and not a leadership ballot and that they should fight the Tories not each other. (An seo air blog Niall)

The six are an unlikely, cross-factional combination but, like an Agatha Christie novel, each would be armed with a motive to get even with their boss. The reasons are too byzantine to get into and don't really add to much credibility to the claims.

More interesting perhaps are Eric Joyce's reflections on the day. Let's see if Lord Mandelson has made it through the snow to the Newsnight studio?

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