Mandelson is playing a dangerous game. Blears doesn’t want to have resigned because of expenses: she was trying to send a political message. If Blears feels she is being smeared as a weak woman who couldn’t cope with the media spotlight, she might feel obliged to hit back.
The Telegraph also has a leak from the Cabinet Office that Blears did not pay capital gains tax on another property. Again, if Blears feels her reputation is being trashed she will hit back. Also, watch Caroline Flint, Blears’ friend and political ally. It would be quite spectacular for the Communities Secretary and the Europe Minister to resign before the Local and European elections.