James Forsyth

Darling’s test

Darling's test
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Alistair Darling has kept silent since the government reshuffle. He knows that any interviewer worth his salt would press him on whether he discussed any alternative jobs with the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister’s staff. But Darling will have to break his silence tomorrow at Treasury questions.

Darling finds himself in a nigh-on-impossible position. Everyone in Westminster knows that Brown wanted to move him but couldn’t; I don’t think anyone was convinced by Brown’s denial of this point on Friday.  But Darling can’t be seen to be crowing about facing down the Prime Minister.

The next test for Darling will be whether he can prevent Brown from inflicting further damage on the public finances. Expect this autumn’s PBR to be the next flashpoint between the two men, if Brown is still in place then that is.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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