BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 19:10 GMT
Mowlam: Blair must solve Brown rift
Mo Mowlam
Mowlam wants the chancellor removed from his post
The "negative relationship" between Tony Blair and his chancellor is making it difficult for the prime minister to govern, former cabinet minister Mo Mowlam said.

Ms Mowlam, who left parliament at the last election, called on Mr Blair to solve the problem by moving Gordon Brown to a new post as foreign secretary.

The former Northern Ireland secretary said areas of friction included Europe and the creation of foundation hospitals.

I just think Tony ought to think about moving Gordon if they can't work together

Mo Mowlam
"I think he [Mr Brown] has made it so difficult for Tony to govern, I think the animosity between the two of them is counter-productive to good government," Ms Mowlam told Sky's Sunday With Adam Boulton programme.

"It has meant that things haven't been delivered, it has meant crisis after crisis which didn't need to be a crisis.

"So I think they both have something to answer for in terms of their relationship, but Tony is prime minister, he ought to be able to say to Gordon 'Stop it or I'll move you'.

"On Europe, for example, Tony comes and says there will be a referendum next year and then Gordon comes out a week later and says there will be another test first.

"I mean that is childish politics, we don't need that kind of carry-on.

"The negative relationship between them needs to be broken. It is up to Tony to break it as prime minister."

'Government hurt'

Ms Mowlam said the prime minister had argued with the chancellor over Europe and over the funding of NHS hospitals "when Alan Milburn had to fight tooth and nail to get the money out of the economic secretary and then they got the money out with Gordon leading".

Gordon Brown
Brown 'should become foreign secretary'
"I want a relationship between Gordon and Tony that is not negative," she continued.

"I want it to be a government, a cabinet that functions as it should be for the good of the Labour party, for the good of the Labour government, for the good of this country and at the moment we don't have that.

"I think that if Gordon and Tony cannot work together as chancellor and prime minister he ought to put him as foreign secretary."

Feud rumoured

Neither Mr Blair nor Mr Brown has ever publicly spoken of a rift, but there is regular speculation about friction between the two men over the leadership of the party.

According to Labour legend, the pair forged a pact over dinner at the Islington restaurant Granita in 1994.

Mr Brown was said to have agreed to give Mr Blair a clear run for party leadership following John Smith's death.

But Mr Brown was said to have imposed a condition - that Mr Blair step aside and allow him to take over during his second term in office.

Last month a spokesman for the prime minister rejected reports that the chancellor was set to call in the agreement, saying the two men enjoyed a "vital and strong relationship".

See also:

02 Dec 02 | Politics
28 Nov 02 | Politics
28 Nov 02 | Politics
01 Jun 02 | Wales
03 Dec 01 | Politics
02 Dec 01 | Politics
09 Sep 01 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


 E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes