8 Jan 2010

Ballot call "storm in a teacup" - Brown

6:03 am on 8 January 2010

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has dismissed the latest challenge to his leadership as a "storm in a teacup".

Speaking a day after two former cabinet ministers tried to arrange a secret leadership ballot among MPs, Mr Brown says the affair had taken up very little of his time.

Mr Brown says his Cabinet colleagues were fully behind him and had pledged support for him within an hour or two of the plot becoming public.

One of the organisers of the challenge, Geoff Hoon, admitted that it had failed.

Mr Hoon and another former cabinet minister, Patricia Hewitt, called for a secret ballot among Labour MPs on Mr Brown's leadership, saying the grumbling had to be resolved before this year's general election.