Guido has been sniffing around and now has positive confirmation that the game is really on. Jack Straw’s claim yesterday that Gordon was secure in his job and would not be “ousted” shows that it is very much on the agenda. If UKIP were to beat Labour, Nigel Farage is right, Brown would have to go. No amount of spin that “all mainstream politics is disgraced” would save Gordon, that would only make sense if the Tories were beaten by UKIP as well. Just as the end of David Owen’s SDP was signaled by them losing to the Monster Raving Loony Party, UKIP beating Gordon would confirm his demise.
This prospect is viewed with absolute horror by CCHQ. If Tory staffers could save Gordon by voting Labour on June 4, they would.
The scenario put to Guido goes like this; Thursday June 4 is Labour’s worst nightmare, Labour’s local council low-point goes even lower. Either the LibDems or UKIP beat Labour on the percentage share of the vote in the Euro vote. The Sunday press is of course totally hostile to Brown with Labour MPs clamoring openly for him to stand down. If Sarah Brown can’t or won’t save him from humiliating himself that weekend, he will on the Monday night ( June 8 ) have to face the PLP disarmed of McBride and unable any longer to put the press frighteners on critics as much as in the past. Watch out for a recent former cabinet member making the Geoffrey Howe speech. Not Clarke or Byers, it will have to be someone without previous, who has served in Brown’s cabinet, someone like Peter Hain or Ruth Kelly. For the good of the party and the good of the nation he will be implored to go. If the mood of the room goes against him, he will fall shortly after, much as the Speaker went.
Guido’s source cautions that we have been here before and Brown has a knack of hanging on by his bitten down fingernails. Chickens are not being counted. Campaign teams are however being assembled in readiness with the weekend of June 12/13 pencilled in for them to break cover. Miliband’s SpAd Sarah Schaefer has sounded out a team ready to go within weeks, Alan Johnson’s unsuccessful deputy leadership campaign team is also clearing the decks. The game is very much on…