Peter Hoskin

Did Watson fall on his sword for Brown’s sake?

Did Watson fall on his sword for Brown's sake?
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Ok, so maybe we're all going a bit reshuffle crazy in Westminster, but here's a theory about Tom Watson's resignation that just popped into my head. 

Imagine, if you will, that you're the Dear Leader and you hear that Jacqui Smith's resignation has leaked.  This wasn't Downing St-sanctioned information, and it's certainly not part of your gameplan - so what do you do?  Do you do nothing, and watch everyone get into a frenzy about how the Government has lost control of its own ministers?  Or do you get one of your lapdogs to do exactly the same thing, so that people think Downing Street must be in control of things?  After all, if one of your closest allies leaks his resignation, there's a chance that Smith's actions may not be regarded as an act of rebellion but, rather, as part of a centrally-determined initiative. 

But who would be willing to fall on their sword so that the Dear Leader can save face?  Hm.  Step forward, Tom Watson...