Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Big Meet Issues a Warning to Blair

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Big Meet Issues a Warning to Blair

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

Labour leaders were sent a warning about the future of the Party as thousands gathered for the 122nd Durham Miners' Gala at the weekend.

Trade unionists and left wing Labour figures shared a platform as more than 50,000 people gathered for the annual Big Meeting.

More than 100 pit banners and around 30 bands joined the procession from the heart of Durham to the city's racecourse for the political speeches.

Leading trade unionist and left-wing Labour MP John McDonnell, chairman of the socialist Campaign Group of MPs, used the platform to say there should be no "coronation" of Gordon Brown as the next leader.

The MP for London's Hayes and Harlington constituency told the crowds: "Some are saying that there needs to be a smooth transition, a coronation, but that would mean no change because Gordon Brown is the architect of many current policies.

"It will be Blair to Brown to Cameron because the Tories will be back. …

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