Monday, June 8, 2009

Britain PM Brown faces showdown with rebels

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown faced the prospect Monday of renewed challenges to his grip on power after his Labour Party suffered its worst electoral results in a century.

Rebel Labour lawmakers are expected to decide whether to mount an attempt to depose Brown, who will meet Monday with many of the party's members of Parliament — those supporting him, those opposed and those still undecided.

The party finished third in Britain in voting for representatives to the European Parliament, behind the Conservatives, the country's main opposition party, and the Euroskeptic U.K. Independence Party. The results were Labour's worst in a nationwide vote since 1910.

And the party's support in elections for district and city hall assemblies collapsed, too, increasing the pressure on Brown.

"The message is clear: we need a complete change of political direction," said Labour lawmaker John McDonnell. Rebels need the backing of 71 of Labour's 350 lawmakers to trigger a leadership contest, which would likely take about three weeks.

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