Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Alan Simpson MP: Blairites target leftwinger

Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson – pictured left, and probably the sharpest and most articulate member of the Campaign Group – is in for a serious ticking off today, pour encourager les autres.

Officially, he is being disciplined for comparing Downing Street under Mr Blair to Franco's Fascist regime and dismissing his replacement by Mr Brown as being like Saddam Hussein being replaced by his notorious son Uday.

‘But it is being seen as an attempt by Downing Street to stop the left openly calling for Mr Blair's early departure. Mr Simpson is refusing to apologise for his comments …

‘"Downing Street may not have liked my comments about the war, but they really need to get out more. It is the party's self destructive abandonment of principles that is causing the haemorrhage of support for Labour, not those who try to criticise it," he said.’

If the Blairites decide to get really tough, he could even lose the Labour whip, making him ineligible to stand as a Labour candidate at the next general election.

But it’s worth noting that the inability to withstand a few wisecracks is hardly the hallmark of a confident Labour Party leadership.

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