James Forsyth

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb
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The most surprising piece of news in the papers this morning is that Gordon Brown is sounding Peter Mandelson out about whether he would like to serve a second term as Britain’s European Commissioner. It is, as The Times notes, a rather drastic turn around since last March when Mandelson rather tartly declared: “I don’t know whether this is going to come as a disappointment to him, but he can’t actually fire me. So like it or not, I’m afraid he will have to accept me as commissioner until November 2009. But I will not be seeking a nomination for a further term.”

It appears that the great Mandelson Brown feud is coming to an end. A Brussels source tells The Guardian, "There has been a fairly major shift in how these people interact. It is much warmer. These are two politicians who had differences over a period of many years. They are getting it together again."

If Brown does end up asking Mandelson to stay on in Brussels, it will show that he really is capable of forgiving and forgetting. But the real test for Brown is whether he is prepared to bring others of immense talent who he has fallen out with over the years into his cabinet which desperately needs strengthening.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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