Brit minister refuses to condemn Labour rebels demanding no-trust vote against govt

September 14th, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London , Sept 14 (ANI): Amid growing dissatisfaction among Labour rebels against Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Business secretary John Hutton has reportedly refused to condemn the rebels, saying that his colleagues were right to say that the government needed to do better.

The business secretary made his comments after Labour rebels warned that dozens more were expected to join a campaign to destabilise Gordon Brown ahead of next week’’s Labour conference.

The Lahour rebels are calling for a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minsiter.

Hutton said his job was to support the government. I am absolutely not going to condemn any of my colleagues who want that debate but I think we have to support the government and we have to support the work we are doing because it is absolutely the right direction for the country, The Guardian quoted him as saying.

Apparently siding with the rebels demand of contesting a no-confidence motion against the government, he said that For goodness sake, we are 20 points behind in the opinion polls. But we have to do better and make our arguments clear and that is what we are trying to do.

The business secretary agreed with Alistair Darling, the chancellor, that the economy was facing its toughest conditions in 60 years, but disagreed with claims that Britain was in recession. “I don”t think there is any evidence of that,” he said.

We have to support the prime minister. We have to support the work of government because the government is trying to steer the right course for the future. If you look at our political opponents, we have to aim our fire on the alternatives, not ourselves. Nick Clegg is a pale imitation of David Cameron and at the very best David Cameron is a very pale imitation of Tony Blair, he added.

Junior whip Siobhain McDonagh was the first to break ranks on Friday and was promptly sacked for claiming that the only way to restore order and confidence in the party was to call a leadership contest.

A number of fellow MPs have since emerged as being in favour of a leadership contest, with more expected to join the campaign against Brown over the coming days. Joan Ryan was dismissed from her post as Labour vice-chair and as Brown’’s special envoy to Cyprus after she called for a leadership contest yesterday. (ANI)

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