Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

European elections pound Britain's Brown

Next Previous

Page 2 of 4

About these ads

The extreme right British National Party (BNP) made its first national breakthrough by winning two of Britain's European seats, both in the north of England. The gains for the anti-immigrant party, which has a whites-only membership policy, were made by its leader and a veteran far-right activist who cut his political teeth as a member of an organization founded on Adolf Hitler's birthday.

Time for Brown to go?

Labour supporters waking up the morning after the European election were candid about the tumbling support for their party, which has ruled Britain since 1994.

"It's absolutely awful, it's a disaster for Labour," says Gavin Hayes, general secretary of Compass, a Labour pressure group that lobbies for the party to return to more left-of-center ground.

"But fundamentally there is absolutely no point in changing our leader unless the party changes direction," he argues, calling for a reconnection with Labour's traditional working-class base.

Brown is already fighting for his political life following a wave of resignations last week by ministers. The latest departure came Monday when junior minister Jane Kennedy said she had been sacked after refusing to pledge loyalty to him.

The prime minister was expected to attempt to win over restless Labour MPs at a meeting Monday by making a number of concessions on sensitive issues, such as granting an inquiry into Britain's involvement in the Iraq war and backing down on plans to privatize the postal system.

Labour's chief whip, Nick Brown, has urged rebels in the party to decide after the meeting whether to try to oust Gordon Brown or to pledge loyalty. The rebels, many of whom were admirers of Brown's predecessor and rival, Tony Blair, need the backing of 71 of Labour's 350 MPs to trigger a leadership contest, which would likely take place in about three weeks.

Next Previous

Page 2 of 4

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.