Blair warned by Lady Castle
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Thursday 15 July 1999
The warning by Baroness Castle, the former Cabinet minister, came as critics of Mr Blair's "control freakery" announced they would launch an alternative policy forum on Saturday after complaints that he has "closed down" debate inside the party.
Lady Castle attacked what she dubbed the "Millbank mafia" at the party's London headquarters for their "manipulation" of its policy-making machinery.
The veteran campaigner told a press conference that the "writing is on the wall" for the Government after Labour's defeat in last month's Euro elections. "If the activists are not inspired, no government in my view can survive," she said.
She predicted that the "Millbank mafia" would soon move to change the party's name from Labour. "You cannot have the democratic society which we stand for unless you have a democratic Labour Party."
Lady Castle will be among the speakers at a London conference on Saturday, born out of frustration among Labour's grassroots members at their inability to influence policy. Sixty-two MPs have defied Mr Blair by signing a declaration calling for the party to remain true to the values of its founders and rejecting a "reversion to 19th century Liberalism".
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...