Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Beckett: Leadership challenge 'very foolish'

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Gordon Brown is facing a fresh challenge to his leadership.

Two former Cabinet ministers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt are calling for a ballot to decide whether he should continue.

They have been contacting their colleagues, by letter and by text, saying the issue needs to be sorted out once and for all.

The former foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, said she was dismayed by the news, and described the actions of her former colleagues as "diversionary" and "foolish."

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