“I’ve heard from two Labour sources now that the conversation was very difficult and that Darling raised the possibility of Brown going, but the PM resisted. It would be taking it too far, says a well-placed MP, to say that the mild-mannered Darling told his old friend turned foe to call it a day. He said it was more that Darling floated the possibility of a swift departure for the sake of the party.”
Whatever was said between the two men yesterday, the weakening of Brown’s position is significant for Labour’s economic strategy. The bruised and battered PM is hardly in a position to slap down the Chancellor for refusing to go along with him and Ball’s VAT gambit.