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Factional fight within Britain's Labour Party aggravates

Written by: Staff
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London, Sep 9 (UNI) The ''civil war'' within the British Labour intensified after MPs warned of attempts by hardline supporters of Prime Minister Tony Blair this weekend to ''take out'' Chancellor of the treasury Gordon Brown, as well as a revival of pressure on Mr Blair to step down soon.

According to media reports the plot to remove Mr Blair this week was far more ambitious than known so far, and that some of the conspirators expected him to be out by the end of this week.

A report in The Times claims that the letter from MPs calling on Mr Blair to quit was envisaged as one part of a four-pronged strike to end his career. The aim, according to the plotters, was to remove him within days.

Three successive letters calling on him to quit would be followed by a delegation of ministers to the residence of the British Prime Minister demanding he step aside for the Chancellor. Mr Blair would be ''gone by Saturday'', according to one of the ''plotter''.

Simultaneously ''ferocious'' attacks on Mr Brown by Charles Clarke and Frank Field were seen by the Chancellor's allies and mainstream MPs as evidence that the turmoil would not stop until a leadership contest was called. They also contended that the ''ultra-Blairites'' saw the next few days as crucial to stopping the Chancellor.

Mr Clarke accused Mr Brown of ''absolute stupid behaviour'' and said he could have stopped the week's plotting ''with a click of his fingers''. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he called the Chancellor a ''control freak'' who ''can't work with people'' and who was ''totally uncollegiate'' in his decision-taking. ''He's not a risk taker and you've got to be a risk taker in politics,'' Mr Clarke said. ''The courage question is a big thing for Gordon.'' The scale of the attacks on Mr Brown gave rise to speculations about his possible challengers. There were claims denied by his aides that eduction secretary Alan Johnson was putting together a campaign team for the deputy leadership election, which could swiftly be transformed into a bid for leadership.

UNI XC SI MSJ VC1640

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