September 28, 2006


Brown angry as unions deal blow to NHS plans: Row goes on after delegates reject use of private contractors (Patrick Wintour, John Carvel and David Hencke, September 28, 2006, The Guardian)

At one point in the stormy meeting of the party's national executive, Mr Brown urged the unions to be serious and put on a show of unity to the party and the country. He said the government would not back down over its plan to hand the NHS Logistics contract to a German company.

His aides said later he was angry the unions were unwilling to respond to the compromises offered by the leadership. At one point he rounded on the Transport and General Workers Union for making crazy demands on other issues.

Mr Brown's intervention swung just enough votes to ensure that the national executive voted 16 to 15 to support the government's use of private contractors in the NHS, a position then rejected by the conference.

The chancellor's stance suggests he would be unwilling to tack to the left to win the votes of union members in a leadership election, prompting some union leaders to complain in Manchester yesterday that there was no real difference between Mr Brown and Mr Blair.

Mr. Brown's only hope to succeed is if he hates Labour as much as Mr. Blair does.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 28, 2006 8:19 AM
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