Brown supporters panic after surge in Tory support
Monday 12 December 2005
One senior minister close to Mr Brown said: "Our worry is that Blair's support is going to be transferred directly to Cameron. The longer that Gordon has to wait, the worse that will get. Blair will have to hand over to a new leader at the 2006 conference."
The minister added: "A few weeks ago, someone suggested that we could be facing a meltdown. Everyone laughed, but they would not be laughing now."
The Chancellor has told allies the Tories have been strengthened by a contest for their leadership, and he would prefer to win through a challenge for the Labour leadership, rather than as a "coronation".
John Reid, the Defence Secretary, is the favourite among cabinet colleagues to throw his hat in the ring, but Mr Brown's allies are growing more anxious about the inheritance, including the Prime Minister's drive for Tory-backed reform of public services such as education.
Baroness Morris of Yardley, the former education secretary, will give her backing this week to an alternative education "white paper" by Labour MPs opposed to allowing selection in secondary schools. Signatories include John Denham, a former home office minister, Angela Eagle, the former work and pensions minister, and dozens of Labour MPs.
Lady Morris said she supported the alternative proposals because the government plan would "exacerbate" class divisions and make it harder for children from poorer backgrounds to get into good schools.
The Labour peer, who resigned as an MP at the last election, warned that the education reforms, backed by David Cameron, would "muddy" the dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives on education policy. She accused the Government of, in effect, allowing schools to select pupils by setting their admissions policy and taking the power from local authorities.
"It might not be straight academic selection - but the same kids always score and the same kids always lose out," she said. Baroness Morrissaid the reforms would "make matters worse" and distract schools from improving standards.
"They will make it more difficult for us to break that link between social class and educational achievement," she said.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Oscar Pistorius trial: Case turns into a bizarre safari following the tracks of a wounded lion
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
- 5 Livr: A social network only for drunk people
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...