Rival Reid warns Brown of challenge

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown has been given a warning by one of his cabinet colleagues that he will face a challenge for the Labour leadership.

Gordon Brown has been given a warning by one of his cabinet colleagues that he will face a challenge for the Labour leadership.

When Secretary of State for Health John Reid, was asked yesterday whether he would be happy to serve in a "Brown Cabinet", he said: "It would be utterly complacent to speculate on any electoral victory or any electoral decision by the Labour Party in the future.

"Gordon says the more you are in this game, the more we recognise it's not the post you hold, it's what you do for your country that's important."

His remarks will be seen as a clear warning to the Chancellor and his supporters that his succession as leader is not a foregone conclusion.

Many observers believe the Chancellor is so far ahead of his rivals that no contest will be necessary when Tony Blair stands down. The Prime Minister seemed to have little doubt as to his successor when he told The Times last week: "Gordon will make an excellent prime minister."

Before the election, Mr Reid was being heavily tipped as Downing Street's favoured candidate. Now he, along with other potential candidates, risk being left out in the cold in a Brown administration.

One of the Prime Minister's aides said Mr Reid had irritated him with a series of overly combative and "inappro- priate" media performances.

His comment yesterday is unlikely to have pleased campaign managers desperate to shut down evidence of internal jockeying for position in a third term.

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