Peter Hoskin

Is Brown starting to accept defeat?

Is Brown starting to accept defeat?
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The FT report on how Labour MPs aren't putting themselves forward to be parliamentary private secretaries - or "ministerial bag-carriers", as they're known around Westminster - says a lot about the party's confidence in Gordon Brown.  After all, as one source tells the newspaper: "Why would you bother if you know that there is no chance of becoming a minister in the next government?"

But it's this snippet from the FT's analysis which could be more noteworthy:

"One Downing Street insider said the prime minister was more relaxed because he now realised that he was certain to lose the next election and was powerless to defy political gravity."

Sure, another insider goes on to deny the same in the following sentence.  But this remains one of the few occasions - if not the only occasion, in a national publication - where it's been claimed Brown has come round to accepting defeat in the next election.  If it's true, I imagine a fair few Tories will be worried about an upswing in "scorched earth" policy over the next few months.