Now, former UK Deputy PM Prescott defends Brown

May 11th, 2008 - 11:25 am ICT by admin  

Gordon Brown

London, May 11 (ANI): Former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is the latest entrant to the controversy surrounding Gordon Brown over his alleged pressure tactics on Tony Blair.

Prescott says that he had urged Blair when he was the Prime Minister to sack Brown as the Chancellor of Exchequer when tensions between the two were very high, and also told Brown to resign if he thought he was being had by Blair.

Prescott’s revelation comes a day after Blair’s wife Cherie said in a serialized version of her autobiography that she tried very hard to stop her husband from resigning prematurely because of the pressure being mounted on him by Brown.

Prescott also said Blair had promised to quit as Prime Minister four years before he finally handed over to Gordon Brown, but continually refused to honour his pledge.

Prescott claimed Brown was “unfairly treated” as his colleague reneged on a long-term agreement to stand down halfway through his second term in office, which would have meant a handover in 2003.

“I don’t think there was any doubt about it; there was an agreement. It had to be halfway into the second period you couldn’t do a deal by saying if we win three elections you’ll get the job. There was less and less trust between them,” Prescott told The Sunday Times.

On tensions between the two, Prescott said: “With Tony, when he was moaning on about Gordon’s behaviour, I’d say ‘Sack him, find a new chancellor, if that’s how you really feel.’ Tony knew that sacking Gordon would tear the party apart.”

Prescott also said that he urged Brown to resign, if he felt so strongly about being misled.

Memories of Brown’s damaging feuds with lair were revived in the first extracts of Cherie Blair’s book “Speaking for Myself”, which began a week-long serialisation in two national newspapers.

A Downing Street spokesman admitted to “bafflement” over the extracts, in which Brown was accused of “rattling the keys” of No.10 over Blair’s head to try to force him out of office.

That Cherie Blair had been working on her memoirs had been an open secret in Westminster, but publication had not been expected until October this year. The news that the book was to be serialised in The Sun and The Times provoked panic in a Labour Party struggling to recover from the recent blows, including poor local election results, and the rows over a referendum on Scottish independence, and the abolition of the 10p tax rate. (ANI)

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