Brown to defy cabinet critics with string of new policies

A defiant Gordon Brown will take on his critics in the Cabinet today by pledging to confront and overcome his problems, in a personal appeal to ministers to back his forthcoming "policy blitz" and save his embattled leadership.

At a specially convened cabinet meeting in Birmingham, the Prime Minister will circulate a draft document in which he makes clear that he has no intention of standing down. He responds to criticisms of the Government's lack of direction by outlining his philosophy of Labour as the party of the "many not the few".

The document, to be finalised next week and sent to Labour delegates before the party's annual conference later this month, will outline a string of policy initiatives to be rolled out during the Manchester gathering and beyond.

In the document's foreword, Mr Brown recalls his personal struggle after losing the sight in one eye in a teenage rugby accident, and signals that he will not bow to his critics: "My own response to the great challenges in my own life has been to confront them, resolute in the belief that there would always be something that could be done to overcome them. And there always has been."

Mr Brown adds: "Now, once more, I am confident that we can come through this difficult economic time and meet these challenges a stronger, more secure, and fairer country than ever before."

It is an expectedly defiant stance, but his problems show no signs of abating. Labour MPs and ministers have warned that Mr Brown faces a leadership challenge if the party's standing does not improve after the Manchester conference.

Union leaders gathering for the annual Trades Union Congress in Brighton yesterday called for an immediate cut in interest rates and taxes funded by extra public borrowing to pull the economy back from the brink of recession. They called on Mr Brown to deliver for hard-pressed families, and on the Government to "get its act together" and end the "squabbling" that has dogged the party.

Tensions within Labour continued, as Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the giant Unite union, used an interview to launch an expletive-ridden tirade against the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband for his leadership ambitions, describing him as "smug" and "arrogant".

Ed Balls, the Children's Secretary and one of Mr Brown's closest allies, described the Government as "two-nil down" but made clear his frustration with the in-fighting. "There has got to be unity," he told the BBC, "there's got to be discipline, there's got to be confidence."

Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said: "They are in the dressing room probably warming up, but a few of their star strikers are struggling with injury. We are in urgent need of a physiotherapist."

Meanwhile, the PCS civil service union led warnings of a new winter of discontent, announcing that it would ballot 270,000 workers on strike action over pay, and co-ordinate three months of action with teachers, lecturers and other public servants.

Unison, the giant public sector union, also warned of renewed industrial action over pay, raising the prospect of strikes involving a million workers.

Allies of Mr Brown insisted that the Cabinet would rally round the autumn policy programme which promises immediate help for people struggling with the economic downturn, fresh policies on education, a "new deal" for the elderly, extra support for parents and "long-term decisions on transport, energy and climate change".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?