• Published on 9 Jul 2010 Sections Politics

    Gordon Brown’s ex-spin doctor gets a new job

    Justin Forsyth, who was Gordon Brown’s head of communications at No. 10, has a new job – Chief Executive at Save the Children.

  • Published on 9 Jun 2009 Sections Politics

    The government hung by a cashmere thread

    So Gordon Brown is through this storm. And he has Peter Mandelson to thank for it. For one moment on Thursday night, the government hung by a cashmere thread. But Peter Mandelson rallied David Miliband, the moment of maximum danger passed. The Prime Minister is a weakened figure sitting in the Cabinet this morning. He…

  • Published on 5 Jun 2009 Sections Politics

    Hutton’s resignation reflects Labour’s despair

    The John Hutton resignation is not a naked political attack, like James Purnell’s. But it is symptomatic of something even more serious than Labour’s divisions – Labour’s despair. John Hutton doesn’t rate Gordon Brown that highly – his private comments on Mr Brown are legendary and profane. But he can’t quite see the point of…

  • Published on 5 Jun 2009

    Purnell breaks from the pack to plunge the knife

    To answer my own initial question: Purnell has broken from the pack. He has done what David Miliband, conceivably Andy Burnham, and maybe John Hutton (of whom more in a moment), might have done and must have been thinking of doing. Purnell has plunged a knife that has been waiting for such an exercise for…

  • Published on 5 Jun 2009 Sections Politics

    It was Mandelson who Balls it up for Ed

    New rumour is that Gordon Brown didn’t actually decide to keep Alistair Darling in place until this morning and that an early morning conversation with Peter Mandelson swung it. That won’t do much for Mandelson/Balls relations, which had been patched up since Lord Mandelson’s return to government. Ed Balls will be feeling frustrated that his…

  • Published on 5 Jun 2009 Sections Politics

    Balls! How Gordon’s dream ended

    Alistair Darling saw the Prime Minister last night for a long conversation and made it plain he didn’t think he should be thrown out of the Chancellorship. The chancellor was offered a number of jobs but turned them all down. I believe Mr Darling left still not entirely clear whether he had won his right…

  • Published on 5 Jun 2009

    Purnell goes – and rolls back the political sardine tin lid

    Crumbs! An act of personal political courage – or of scheming personal political advancement? At this point almost impossible to judge. I don’t know James Purnell well. He was once a pivotal bag carrier, speech writer and muse inside Tony Blair’s Downing Street. Hence a Blairite, almost certainly well aware of, and wary of, Gordon…

  • Published on 5 Jun 2009 Sections Politics

    Gordon’s ‘phone a friend’ reshuffle

    The Cabinet reshuffle is under way. Most of it will happen by phone because ministers are out in constituencies where they we’re putting in some time campaigning. This is Gordon Brown’s moment to assert his much diminished authority .  

  • Published on 21 May 2009

    A day of miscalculation by the political classes

    How convenient, the Whitsun break. Have you ever wondered how many weeks the political classes absent themselves in a year? But the problem today is not absenteeism. In some cases it’s a lack of it.