US believed Brown was ‘abysmal’: WikiLeaks
LONDON: US officials believed former Gordon Brown had an "abysmal track record" and lurched "from political disaster to disaster," US documents revealed by WikiLeaks showed.
The Guardian Friday published leaked cables sent from the US embassy in London in which US officials dismissed the British leader's attempts to guide his "rudderless" Labour party after Tony Blair stepped down in 2007.
A cable sent by then US ambassador Robert Tuttle on July 31, 2008, speculated on the possibility that Brown could be ousted as party leader.
"As Gordon Brown lurches from political disaster to disaster, Westminster is abuzz with speculation about whether he will be replaced," the memo began. The cable concluded that because of "Brown's abysmal track record," Labour MPs seriously considered staging a coup.
In another memo dated March 3, 2008, Tuttle suggested that Labour MPs sensed the party was "rudderless" following Blair's departure.
"Even though Blair ended up unpopular, he was the sun around which the party orbited, and his speeches, no matter the content, sparked an emotional response," Tuttle said.
"Brown's earnest and praiseworthy vision excites no opposition and yet it seems to excite no great enthusiasm either," he added.
Tuttle pinpointed former foreign secretary David Miliband as the most suitable replacement following an electrifying speech at the 2008 Labour party conference.
Miliband eventually lost out to his younger brother, Ed, in the September 2010 leadership vote after Brown resigned following a crushing defeat in May's general election.
"David Miliband provided rare moments of star power for a party that seems increasingly to miss Tony Blair's charisma," Tuttle said in the March cable. "In an otherwise low key conference, the frisson of excitement whenever...Miliband appeared was palpable," he added. -Afp