James Forsyth

How Brown can stop Mandelson going postal

How  Brown can stop Mandelson going postal
Text settings

As Pete said earlier, the question of how Brown gets out of this Post Office mess is fascinating. On the one hand he has the 150 plus Labour MPs who have signed an early day motion against the plan—and you can add to that number a fair few MPs who are trying to fly below the whips’ radar—and the unions, on the other he has Peter Mandelson who has turned this into a test of his and the government’s authority.

There is, though, one obvious way out for Brown. There’s no date yet for the legislation to come before the House but most observers expect it to do so after June 4th. In other words, after the European and local elections and the expected reshuffle. If Brown moved Mandelson to the Foreign Office, the job he has always wanted and the most senior government job he could realistically do from the Lords, then his successor could accept a compromise.

One other fascinating thing to watch on the Post Office front is how clear Alan Johnson makes his position. As a former postman and head of the CWU, one would expect him to have strong opinions on the issue.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

Topics in this articleSociety