London, Aug.6 : The leadership change plot in Britain is gathering momentum with Foreign Secretary David Miliband reportedly projecting Alan Milburn to be next Chancellor of the Exchequer if he (Miliband) replaces Gordon Brown as Prime Minister.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Brown, who is currently on a holiday, has failed to get Milburn's support ahead of a tentative cabinet meeting on September 8. Miliband on the other hand has privately talked to the former health secretary about taking on a senior role in a government headed by him.
In a sign that his plans to become Labour leader are at an advanced stage, Miliband has told friends that Milburn, a hate figure for many of Brown's allies, would play a central role in trying to revive the Government's fortunes.
Milburn is understood to have told Miliband that he would be happy to accept the Treasury.
Miliband has emerged as a potential challenger to Brown's fragile authority after last week outlining his personal manifesto for reviving Labour and repeatedly refusing to rule out a bid to oust the Prime Minister.
His plumbing for Milburn is a clear sign of how advanced Miliband's political plans are, despite his public claims that he is not running a leadership campaign.
His move to contact Milburn first came after he was reportedly informed that Brown was considering inviting Milburn back into the Cabinet in a reshuffle next month.
The paper quoted a Labour source close to the negotiations as saying: "David has done what he set out to do - to show very clearly that he is prepared to take on the leadership."
Miliband is a former aide to Tony Blair and has the support of many of the former Prime Minister's inner circle.
With his personal standing at an all-time low, many MPs now believe that Brown will now face a public attempt to oust him, perhaps as early as next month.
Though Miliband does not propose to launch a fresh strike against Brown, but feels that he has established himself as a front-runner for the leadership if a vacancy does emerge.