Britain’s Brown facing growing revolt

LONDON, September 14, 2008 (AFP) – The calls for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to face a leadership contest grew Sunday as former ministers attacked his performance and more party members backed a showdown.

The mutiny against Brown gathered pace less than 48 hours after a member of his government for the first time broke ranks and called for a challenge to his stewardship of the ruling Labour Party.

Those who have spoken out so far are hoping their numbers will snowball before the party’s annual conference kicks off on Saturday. All eyes are on whether a big-name Cabinet figure will join their bandwagon.

Anyone wishing to challenge for the leadership has to gain the support of 20 percent of Labour lawmakers — currently 71 — and seek nomination before the party conference, giving rebels a tight timeframe for maximising the pressure on Brown.

Fiona Mactaggart joined the former ministers openly calling for a change of leadership, telling BBC television: “I think we should give a chance to someone else to take over, I really do.

“The problem that I see is a lack of clarity about our ambitions for Britain.”

And other disgruntled Labour backbenchers weighed in, with the sniping set