Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blairites Tell PM Not to Forget about the Affluent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blairites Tell PM Not to Forget about the Affluent

Article excerpt

Byline: JASON BEATTIE

A TRIO of senior Blairites today warned Gordon Brown not to retreat fromthe centre ground conquered by New Labour in the last decade.

The charge was led by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears who says Labour willonly win the next election by being the party of the "affluent" as well as the"poorest", and that Mr Brown cannot rely on Labour's past successes.

Her argument was echoed by Charles Clarke, the former home secretary, and AlanMilburn, the former health secretary, and comes as Mr Brown is buffeted bysurveys putting Labour's poll ratings at a 25-year low.

In a much bolder attack in an article for the Guardian, Mr Clarke says theGovernment still lacks a "clear narrative" that would enable people tounderstand "what Labour now stands for".

Downing Street refused to be drawn on the remarks. "I am not sure the PrimeMinister has yet had the opportunity to read that," Mr Brown's spokesman said.

In a separate intervention, Mr Milburn said that Alistair Darling's plans totax non domiciles had "sorely tested" the Government's relationship with thebusiness community. …

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