GORDON Brown is "certain" to face a leadership challenge from ex-Minister Michael Meacher in the race to succeed Tony Blair.
Allies of the Chancellor are convinced that the former Environment Minister will join the battle to become Labour leader.
One of Mr Brown's closest allies said last night: "We are absolutely certain that Michael Meacher will throw his hat in the ring.
"He has been taking soundings among Labour MPs and we've got no doubt he will join the race when the time comes."
Mr Meacher has not publicly declared his intentions yet. But he has launched a series of scathing attacks on the Government since he was sacked from his ministerial job in 2003.
Mr Brown angered left-wing Labour MPs last week by insisting he will replace Britain's Trident nuclear missiles.
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