Peter Hoskin

Coming to blows

Coming to blows
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As always, Rachel Sylvester's column in the Telegraph is essential reading. Today she writes of how divide, doubt and mistrust have permeated every level of the Government. In particular, this revelation jumped out at me:

“Behind the scenes, things are even worse. With no clear direction from above, Cabinet ministers are at each other's throats. I am reliably informed that, after one recent Cabinet meeting, Jack Straw threatened to punch Ed Balls during a row about who was responsible for youth crime. The Justice Secretary came back to his department fuming that he had never been spoken to so rudely by a colleague in public and that he was not going to put up with it.”

We've been discussing the tensions awakened by Stephen Carter's arrival at Downing Street. But this is of a different level entirely. The cracks in Team Brown are threatening to become chasms, and it's difficult to see how they can recover the situation.