Labour leader Ed Miliband was involved in a plot to overthrow Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005, documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph revealed last night.
The documents show that Miliband, along with Ed Balls, now shadow chancellor were part of Gordon Brown’s inner circle tasked with forcing Blair out of power.
The plot code-named “Project Volvo” to prepare Brown for his role of Prime Minister.
One document in particular shows that a meeting to discuss Brown’s leadership bid was held on 19 July 2005, only months after Blair led the party to its historic third successive election win.
Brown sent the Project Volvo team a series of memos in 2005 pinpointing Blair’s weaknesses. “This is a government not presidency,” he wrote. “Restoration of constitution and of trust. Leadership that gets on with the job … Trust depends on proper relationship between executive legislature and civil service, Labour the champion of the constitution … Need to redefine politics from spin/calculation/manoeuvre … No presidentialism.”
He also wrote to Balls: “If we are to renew Labour, we will have to be as rigorous and brutal as we were in the creation of new Labour.”
The leaked files show that Blair, apparently infuriated by the tactics to force him out wrote Brown early in 2006 saying: “Whilst I remain PM, the final decision has to be mine, and that cannot provoke a breakdown. “
“I will try, at all costs, to avoid disagreement, but there can’t be a stalemate if it happens.”
Brown annotated the letter describing Blair as “shallow”, “inconsistent” and “muddled”.
Brown and Balls also allegedly drew up a handover document which they wanted Blair to sign but he refused.
The revelations that Miliband and Balls were involved in a plot to unseat a sitting Prime Minister are hugely embarrassing but Labour insiders have dismissed the documents as “ancient history”.