Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Where do Labour MPs stand on call for leadership ballot

Two former Labour Cabinet ministers have written to all their colleagues calling for them to back their call for a secret ballot to decide on Gordon Brown's leadership. Here's a guide to the reaction so far.


GEOFF HOON: Former chief whip and transport secretary is behind the ballot push but insists it does not represent an attempted coup.

PATRICIA HEWITT: Ex-health secretary, who co-signed the letter, says a vote is need to resolve the leadership issue and unite the party ahead of the election.

CHARLES CLARKE: Former home secretary, an arch critic of Gordon Brown, has backed the move but says he will support the prime minister if he prevails.

FRANK FIELD: Persistent critic of the government is backing the vote.

BARRY SHEERMAN: Senior backbencher called for a leadership ballot last autumn and says it would benefit Labour.

FIONA MACTAGGART: Backbencher challenged claims that the ballot idea was not supported by many Labour MPs


ED BALLS: Education secretary and key Brown ally said the rebels were a "small minority" and did not speak for the party as a whole.

ALISTAIR DARLING: Chancellor of the Exchequer says the government won't be "deflected" from its business.

LORD MANDELSON: A spokesman for the business secretary said the move was a "distraction" and the prime minister continued to have the "support of his cabinet colleagues".

ALAN JOHNSON: Home secretary says Gordon Brown is " the best man to lead the Labour Party".

NICK BROWN: Chief whip said the move was "unhelpful" and there was no "significant support" behind it.

TONY MCNULTY: Former minister said the move was "daft" and "rather cowardly", insisting the leadership was "not an issue".

ANDY BURNHAM: The health secretary said "I think they've misread the mood of Labour MPs on this one".

SHAUN WOODWARD: The Northern Ireland secretary said the ballot idea was a "huge distraction that nobody wants".

TONY LLOYD: The chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party has dismissed the idea as "entirely unconstitutional".

JOHN MCFALL: The chair of the Commons Economic Affairs Committee says a leadership vote would be a "death-wish" for Labour

CHRIS BRYANT: The Europe minister compared the letter to an attempted "hand grenade that won't go off".

MARGARET BECKETT: The former foreign secretary described the idea as "foolish" and "stupid".

GERALDINE SMITH: Loyal backbencher says there is no "appetite" for a vote and its proponents were "joke figures".

SADIQ KHAN: Transport minister said Mr Brown was the "only man" to lead Labour into the general election.

JOHN MANN: Backbencher said the move was a "dead duck" and Geoff Hoon was motivated by "sour grapes".

BARONESS ROYALL: Leader of the House of Lords said the idea was an "irrelevant distraction".

JOHN MCDONNELL: Left-wing critic of Mr Brown said the public would be "aghast" at the party's renewed infighting.

LIAM BYRNE: Treasury minister said the move was mistaken, saying Labour needed a "laser-like focus" on economic challenges.

ED MILIBAND: Climate change secretary comes out in support of Mr Brown and says he is "sure" his brother David would also be backing the PM.

JACK STRAW: Justice secretary says there is "no issue" about the direction in which Gordon Brown is taking the country and the polls are better than before he took over as prime minister.

LORD ADONIS: Transport secretary says there is no appetite for a ballot which he said was a "distraction".

TESSA JOWELL: Cabinet Office minister said the unrest will "blow itself out".

HARRIET HARMAN: Commons leader and deputy Labour leader said ministers were "getting on with the job" and determined to win the election under Gordon Brown's leadership.

DAVID MILIBAND: A friend of the foreign secretary told the BBC that Mr Miliband "thinks that this is going nowhere". In a later statement, Mr Miliband said he was "working closely" with Mr Brown and supported the "re-election campaign he is leading".

BEN BRADSHAW: Culture secretary said Mr Brown had the "right policies" and leadership talk was "self-indulgent".

BOB AINSWORTH: Defence secretary says the PM has "the support of his colleagues".

HILARY BENN: Sources close to the environment secretary told the BBC he was "100%" behind the prime minister.

DOUGLAS ALEXANDER: International development secretary says Gordon Brown "has shown he can deliver for the British people".


JOHN DENHAM: Communities secretary

YVETTE COOPER: Work and pensions secretary

PETER HAIN: Welsh secretary

JIM MURPHY: Scottish secretary

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