Brown to face more leadership challenges, claims Mandelson

Business secretary Lord Mandelson has said the prime minister is bound to face more leadership challenges.

He told the Telegraph newspaper that a group of MPs in the party would never accept Mr Brown as leader and would continue to rebel against him with another challenge expected to come about at the party’s annual conference in Brighton in September.

However, the business secretary said he would not “lose any sleep” worrying about the danger of Mr Brown being unseated by a revolt.

Asked about the resignation of former work and pensions secretary James Purnell from the cabinet, Lord Mandelson admitted that it was a “serious ruction” but insisted that it was possible for the party to win another term in power if they regained the public’s trust.
In the interview, he urged the prime minister to be more decisive and to show that he was enjoying his work.

“I believe in leadership and in being decisive. Secondly, in listening to people and respecting official advice you receive. And thirdly, introducing a bit of humour and jollity to your work,” he said.

“You don’t have to be too grey or serious the whole time. You can do your work and enjoy it at the same time and include people along the way.”

The business secretary’s interview comes after further details emerged of the turmoil at the head of government during the cabinet reshuffle two weeks ago.

Foreign secretary David Miliband said he had doubts about continuing in the government after the resignation of Mr Purnell.

Europe minister Caroline Flint has continued to criticise the prime minister while former communities secretary Hazel Blears expressed regret over the damage caused to the party by her stepping down on the eve of local and European elections.