London, July 9 : The deputy leader of Britain's Labour Party, Harriet Harman is secretly campaigning to become her party's first woman Prime Minister should Gordon Brown be forced out of 10, Downing Street.
According to The Sun, Harman is privately sounding out Members of Parliament about her chances, and her allies believe the privately educated MP can win back Middle England voters who have abandoned Labour.
They also claim she has greater public appeal than Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
Harman has long argued that Labour needs more women in top jobs. But her plotting will enrage Gordon Brown, who though away in Japan for the G-8 Summit, insists that he is still the "right man" to lead the party.
He said: "If I thought I wasn't the right person I wouldn't have stood for leader. I'm the right person to take people through these difficult times."
Meanwhile fears were growing last night that Labour will lose this month's by-election in Glasgow East. It is already in disarray after it was forced to pick its fifth-choice candidate to fight the seat.
Some backbenchers have warned that Brown will have to quit if the by-election is lost.