London, Sept 15 : Senior Labour leaders have warned British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that he has only a few weeks to save his premiership.
According to the Telegraph, the Labour leaders have publicly rejected calls for Brown to step down, but privately, a number of them are urging restraint until Saturday, when the Labour conference starts.
John Hutton, the Business Secretary, was among those to indicate that the plotters were right to say that Labour needed to do better, effectively putting the Prime Minister on notice that must up his game.
While admitting that things had to improve within weeks, Hutton said: "I'm not going to criticise any of my colleagues who want Labour to do better and neither am I going to criticise those who say, for example, that we do need to set out a stronger vision of what we are doing. It is a difficult political climate for us.
Hutton further said that his colleagues were right to say that the Government needed to do better, as they (Labour) were 20 percentage points behind in the opinion polls.
David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, who is seen as a potential successor to Brown, also admitted that the Labour Party was in serious trouble.
Miliband further acknowledged that there was recognition from the top of the party down, that it was a challenging time for the Labour Party.
However, Geoff Hoon, the chief whip, ruled out a leadership contest at this stage saying it would be a distraction ahead of the party conference.
The latest rebellion, which began when junior whip Siobhain McDonagh called for a leadership election on Friday and which by last night had the support of around a dozen Labour MPs, completely overshadowed Brown's attempt at an autumn fightback.
Brown is desperate to stop Labour conference being dominated by discussions of his leadership, but his attempt to focus attention on what he is doing to help those affected by the credit crisis and turn Labour's fire on the Conservatives appears to have been ruined.