As Tony Blair faces growing public splits in the Labour Party and in his own cabinet, another mainstream MP has publicly called for his resignation, “as soon as practicable”.
Mainstream MP Chris McCafferty, Calder Valley, has joined her local constituency party in voting for a motion calling for Blair to resign. The motion held Tony Blair’s failing leadership for: “falls in membership and reluctance by grassroots members to campaign both in elections and to build the Party.”
The vote will cause further concern for Labour Party managers as, although McCafferty has rebelled on some key issues, she is one of those occasional rebels, whose confidence Blair needs to keep a hold of the party. The Public Whip website lists her as having voted for in the Government in 176 out of 182 votes since May 2005 – a total of 96.7% support of the Government.
According to Public Whip, her voting record compares with Mark Tami MP, a Brownite Parliamentary Private Secretary, and Des Turner MP. A serious move among mainstream MPs to unseat Mr Blair would make his position untenable.
The motion reads:
“The recent controversy over Party election funds, and the associated Honours issue; the failure to secure a Labour majority for the Education Bill; the continuing occupation of Iraq; and the growing dissatisfaction with Tony Blair’s New Labour policies, which increasingly rely on Tory support to achieve Parliamentary majority votes, are all contributing to disillusionment of core voters and members, leading to falls in membership and reluctance by grassroots members to campaign both in elections and to build the Party or indeed to attend meetings.
This Branch believes the Prime Minister should now stand down as soon as practicable and make way for the election of a new leader of the Labour Party. We believe it is vital that a new leader is given as long as possible before calling the next General Election to rebuild the confidence in the Labour Party of the electorate.