Brown to step down as Lib Dems approach Labour

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Gordon Brown has announced his intention to step down as leader of the Labour party….

Gordon Brown has announced his intention to step down as leader of the Labour party.  The Prime Minister made the announcement outside Downing Street earlier this evening.

Mr Brown also revealed that the Lib Dems have approached Labour with a view to holding coalition discussions, this will fuel speculation that the proposed ‘rainbow alliance’ is now very much a possibility.

The Lib Dems have been locked in discussions with the Conservatives since Saturday, however as yet no announcement of any formal agreement has materialised.

Any deal between Labour and the Lib Dems would require the support of the Scottish and Welsh nationalists in order to form a majority.  SNP leader Alex Salmond has already publicly announced his parties support for such a move in order to prevent the Tories from forming the next UK government, although the SNP’s role falls short of a formal alliance.

However recent statements from senior Scottish Labour figures poured scorn on Mr Salmond’s offer labelling the Scottish First Minister a “fantasist” and suggesting that the SNP are irrelevant.

Mr Brown has explained that the mechanism for electing the next leader of the Labour party will be set in motion and that he will remain as caretaker until the new leader is elected.  Should an agreement with the Lib Dems be forthcoming it will be the new Labour leader who would become PM.

It is believed that the resignation of Gordon Brown was designed as a means of ‘unlocking’ the bar to negotiations with the Lib Dems who have repeatedly said that they would not enter any agreement whilst Mr Brown remained as leader.