Disillusioned supporters use party website to voice anger

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Gordon Brown was facing a backlash from Labour's grassroots supporters as they used the party's website to pour scorn on his leadership.

After poor results in the local elections, the Prime Minister wrote on the website: "It's clear to me that this has been a bad night for Labour. We have lessons to learn and then we will move forward. My job is to listen and to lead and that is what I will do." But the pledge prompted 25 pages of replies.

"Trevor" warned about post office closures and crime. He said: "As a lifelong Labour member and activist there are so many things which can make the party unelectable." Another said: "Real, hard-working Labour people are disillusioned with the Government's lack of ability/interest to help the most neglected in our society."

Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader, insisted yesterday that Mr Brown's position was not akin to that of the former Tory leader John Major, who suffered a lingering decline before the 1997 general election.

She told GMTV: "There are issues to be addressed, but they don't represent a fundamental split in the Labour Party."

*Mr Brown has turned to Tony Blair for advice on how to win the next general election, according to Cherie Blair. The wife of the former prime minister made the claim in an interview with The Times, which is serialising her autobiography.