New leader sacks Brownite Chief Whip

One of Gordon Brown's closest allies paid the price of his links to the former prime minister as Nick Brown was ousted from his post as Chief Whip. Ed Miliband effectively bypassed new Labour Party rules to ensure that his own choice would take the role of enforcing discipline among MPs.

Nick Brown, who first joined the Labour frontbench 25 years ago, had also served under Tony Blair as Chief Whip. But he became so closely associated with Gordon Brown that it was frequently joked at Westminster that it was no coincidence they shared the same name.

Mr Brown was forced to withdraw his nomination for the elected post following a tense meeting with the new leader. In an exchange of letters yesterday, neither man attempted to conceal the fact that he had been effectively sacked.

Mr Brown wrote: "During our meeting earlier today, you indicated that you wished me not [to stand]. The Chief Whip must have the full confidence of the party leader. I fully respect your wishes and will no longer be standing." Mr Miliband said: "The election of a new leader is time for a fresh start and that's why I am grateful to you for agreeing to stand aside."

Rosie Winterton, the MP in the neighbouring constituency to Mr Miliband's, will now become Chief Whip. She was the only candidate, is a less factional figure than her predecessor and is popular across the party.

It was to have been the first time Labour MPs would have had the right to vote in their choice for chief whip. Before the rule change, made earlier this month, leaders had the power to appoint an MP. Jim Fitzpatrick, who was likely to have become Chief Whip under David Miliband, also withdrew his candidacy.

Allies of Ed Miliband suggested that Nick Brown's removal was a gesture of goodwill to Blairites smarting from David Miliband's departure from the political limelight. Mr Brown had forged a close personal and political relationship with his namesake and faced increasing suspicion among Tony Blair's team in Downing Street.

Mr Blair moved him out of the Chief Whip's office after just one year in the post and transferred him to what should have been the political backwater of the Ministry of Agriculture. However, he was pitched into the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001 and bore the brunt of criticism of the Government's handling of the emergency.

Gordon Brown re-appointed him as Chief Whip when he finally succeeded to Downing Street in 2007. But he struggled to shrug off his reputation as the new Prime Minister's henchman – and was blamed by new Labour figures for briefing against them.

Mr Brown's departure had been widely expected if David Miliband had won the leadership election, with the former Foreign Secretary said to have already decided he could not work with him. But his brother came to the same conclusion, and other candidates were also given warning not to oppose Ms Winterton.

Mr Brown had supported the decision to elect the chief whip, with some in the party speculating at the time he was trying to shore up his own position. He is said to have backed the rule change because, in theory at least, it appeared to make him immune from being removed by a new leader.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Life and Style
love + sex
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
Jeffrey Archer holds up a copy of 'Kane and Abel', a book he says was ripped-off by Bollywood
books
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Fay Weldon suggested authors should tailor their work for Kindle readers
books
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: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers