James Forsyth James Forsyth

Blair confidant: Tony knew Gordon wasn’t good enough to beat Cameron

The Independent on Sunday reports that Tony Blair has been into Downing Street to advise Gordon Brown. One can only imagine what Blair makes of the mess that the man who spent so long before plotting to take his job is now making of it. But judging by what John Burton, Blair’s constituency agent, writes in the Mail on Sunday, Blair can’t be entirely surprised by the situation:

“After his farewell speech at Trimdon Labour Club in May, 2007, Tony told me he knew he would have been able to deal with Conservative leader David Cameron at the next General Election, but he didn’t believe Gordon would have it in him.”

The article, an extract from Burton’s forthcoming book, also provides yet another example of how tense relations were between Blair and Brown at times:

“Once, Gordon had to be physically restrained when he got into a temper over an election campaign issue.”

As Burton says, one of the biggest mistakes Blair made was not to move Brown when he had the chance to do so. By choosing to accept Brown as PM to his president, Blair severely limited his and his administration’s effectiveness. 

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