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Hurricane James

Betsan Powys | 23:31 UK time, Thursday, 4 June 2009

What was that about half a dozen named hurricanes in a season?

Number three hit tonight with the resignation of James Purnell, the man who took over from Peter Hain as Work and Pensions Secretary. What's still not clear is whether it's open season on the Prime Minister now.

Wales Office Minister Wayne David says not and Operation Toughing-it-out got going on tonight's Dragon's Eye. James Purnell, says Wayne David, was part of a "very small and distinct minority" and the "silent majority" in the Parliamentary Labour Party continue to support the Prime Minister. He's "absolutely convinced" Gordon Brown will lead the party into the next election and that James Purnell has got it wrong.

Kevin Brennan - a player in a Brown reshuffle? - agrees. He's "surprised" by James Purnell's resignation which he thinks is "unnecessary and out of line" with the majority view of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Hywel Francis says he's 100% behind the Prime Minister.

Dai Havard suggests that bigger names than James Purnell might be required to resign from the Cabinet in order for Gordon Brown to stand down but "it's going to be an interesting few days."

The one voice, so far, calling on the Prime Minister to go belongs to Paul Flynn.

Mr Flynn hopes "that Gordon Brown accepts the expected majority opinion of the Parliamentary Labour Party and that he makes a swift and orderly exit ... There is now a wide-coalition asking for change in the PLP".

Toughing it out? More like the musicians on the Titanic says Conservative David Jones who has just one message: bring on an election.


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