Baroness Castle critical of Tony Blair's leadership

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Tony Blair was accused of running Labour like a "one-party state", by a veteran former Cabinet minister, with a warning that the Labour leadership will face a major challenge over its manifesto pledges on pensions at this year's annual party conference. Baroness Castle, the 85-year-old Labour peer, is going on the warpath to stop the party abandoning the manifesto commitment on which it fought the last election, to raise pensions by pounds 5 for single pensioners and pounds 8 a week for couples with restoration of the pensions link with earnings through State Earnings Related Pensions.

A fiery campaigner and Social Services Secretary in the Wilson government, who introduced SERPs, Baroness Castle will be seeking to mobilise support in the constituencies to have the manifesto voted on line by line at the party conference.