Thursday, September 17, 2009

Did Harman have a role in June's failed coup?

On June 4th 2009 that James Purnell stunned many of his colleagues and dramatically resigned from the Cabinet starting rampant speculation of an orchestrated Cabinet coup against Gordon Brown.

During the frantic period following his resignation there was much talk about who would follow him. There were rumours that Miliband would resign as well, forcing Brown into an untenable position. Miliband, as you will recall, did eventually come out and support Brown.

Within a matter of days of Purnell's resignation, reports were surfacing that Purnell was furious at Miliband's capitulation and lack of cajones. There were claims of betrayal on the part of Miliband by sources close to Purnell, suggesting that some sort of plan had been hatched and then, presumably, been ruined by Miliband bottling it.

However, what I can reveal is that just two days before Purnell resigned, on June 2nd, the former web manager for Harriet Harman's deputy leadership campaign, Jon Worth, registered and began work on a "Miliband for Labour Leader" which can still be seen at, and is hosted where Worth hosted Harman's campaign website, along with the official GLA Labour website amongst others.

Was this merely a speculative site, set up with rather fortunate coincidental timing to the coup by a web designer with exceptionally close links to the Cabinet?

Or was it set up in the knowledge that Miliband was meant to follow Purnell out of the door and take a push at the leadership?

Did Harriet Harman know that this site had been set-up? Was it done with the hope that its timing - just before the coup attempt happened - might show Miliband in a poor light as a schemer and allow her to present herself as the unity candidate for the Labour leadership?

Was Harriet Harman herself involved in the moves against Brown in June? Did she hope to orchestrate a leadership contest? Was there a plot within a plot?

God knows! So many questions!
Note: I would call Jon but I don't have a number for him and I'm still coughing up phlegm and sneezing.

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