You do wonder whether there's a point at which Mandelson becomes more of a destabilising than stabilising influence in Number Ten. The residents of Westminster Village are perpetually fascinated by the Prince of Darkness but, even so, it's striking just how prominent his views - and those of his friends - are becoming. Yep, it's starting to look like yet another factor undermining Brown's attempt at a Great Autumn Fightback.“
"'It's so Guardianista,' says one minister close to Lord Mandelson. 'You've got to admire Harriet's Killer Driller drive. She's full of determination but on this she's wrong. No 10 intervened on her side but I'm not sure Gordon really thought it through. He just said, "Give her what she wants" to get rid of her. It was a bit like Tony Blair with John Prescott and regional assemblies. The determined deputy can badger the leader into submission.'"