As well as resigning as British prime minister, Gordon Brown has stepped down as Labour Party leader. FRANCE 24 looks at the Labour MPs that are lining up to replace him and the odds on them winning the top job.
Following Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s bombshell statement on Monday that he will resign as Labour leader to try to keep his party in power, a number of contenders are emerging to replace him.
With negotiations continuing between the three main political parties over how to break May 6’s election stalemate, it was agreed at a cabinet meeting on Monday evening that no leadership bids would be launched before Labour/Liberal Democratic coalition talks conclude.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband is the bookmakers’ favourite to lead the Labour Party, but he faces competition from several powerful candidates, including his own brother.
CONTENDERS FOR LABOUR PARTY LEADERSHIP
The elder son of a notable Marxist theorist, David Miliband is the current Foreign Secretary and odds-on favourite at 4/7* to replace Brown. Ambitious and highly intelligent (earning him the nickname “Brains” from former Labour PR man Alastair Campbell), he led former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s policy unit in Downing Street after the 1997 election, and was touted in the media as a possible challenger to Brown in 2008. Admired by top Lib Dems, Miliband may struggle to win over the unions and Labour Party grassroots.
A key economic adviser to Brown since 1994 and a Member of Parliament since 2005, Ed Balls entered the Labour cabinet as Secretary for Children, Schools and Families when Brown became PM in June 2007. He served as chief economic adviser to the Treasury from 1999-2004, and will claim that he is the best man to tackle the financial crisis. Currently part of Labour’s negotiating team with the Lib Dems, the strong trade union backing he enjoys could work against him if he fails to shed his “class warrior” image: the odds on him taking the reins stand at 5/1.
*Betting odds from Ladbrookes at 4pm on May 12.
Date created : 2010-05-11