US believed ex-British PM Brown was 'abysmal': WikiLeaks
US officials believed former British prime minister Gordon Brown had an "abysmal track record" and lurched "from political disaster to disaster," US documents revealed by WikiLeaks showed.
Britain's Guardian newspaper Friday published leaked cables sent from the US embassy in London in which US officials dismissed the British leader's attempts to guide his "rudderless" Labour party after Tony Blair stepped down in 2007.
A cable sent by then US ambassador Robert Tuttle on July 31, 2008, speculated on the possibility that Brown could be ousted as leader of his party.
"As Gordon Brown lurches from political disaster to disaster, Westminster (the home of Britain's parliament) is abuzz with speculation about whether he will be replaced," the memo began.
The cable concluded that because of "Brown's abysmal track record," Labour lawmakers seriously considered staging a coup.
In another memo dated March 3, 2008, Tuttle suggested that Labour lawmakers sensed the party was "rudderless" following Blair's departure.
"Even though Blair ended up unpopular, he was the sun around which the party orbited, and his speeches, no matter the content, sparked an emotional response," Tuttle said.
"Brown's earnest and praiseworthy vision excites no opposition and yet it seems to excite no great enthusiasm either," he added.
Tuttle pinpointed former foreign secretary David Miliband as the most suitable replacement following an electrifying speech at the 2008 Labour party conference.
Miliband eventually lost out to his younger brother, Ed, in the September 2010 leadership vote after Brown resigned following a crushing defeat in May's general election.
"David Miliband provided rare moments of star power for a party that seems increasingly to miss Tony Blair's charisma," Tuttle said in the March cable.
"In an otherwise low key conference, the frisson of excitement whenever...Miliband appeared was palpable," he added.
Tuttle's assessment of former deputy leader and one-time leadership hopeful Harriet Harman, was less complimentary.
"(She) is a relative policy light weight but an adept inter-party operator," Tuttle said.
"Harman faces a rough ride with most of the British media...who criticize her aggressive championing of women's rights and say that she is obsessed with political correctness," he added.
© 2010 AFP