Gordon Brown leadership challenge dismissed

MP Barbara Follett has offered her backing to Gordon Brown after two ex-cabinet ministers demanded a secret ballot on his leadership.

Mrs Follett, whose Stevenage constituency includes Codicote, Datchworth and Knebworth, spoke out after Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt claimed in a letter to Labour MPs that the party was “deeply divided” over the Prime Minister’s leadership.

“I think it is very sad that two people of the status of Geoff and Patricia have made such a stupid mistake,” Mrs Follett said.

“I think they have mis-gauged the views of the party.”

Mrs Follett, who will be standing down from Parliament at this year’s General Election, insisted that any attempt to force the premier out would be be unsuccessful.

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She added: “I am dismayed and angry and I think it was totally unnecessary.”

For more from Mrs Follett, see next week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times.

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