Peter Hoskin

On this morning’s evidence, Brown’s fightback is already over

On this morning’s evidence, Brown’s fightback is already over
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If you still haven't made up your mind about whether Brown's speech yesterday will do anything for Labour's chances, then just dash through his interviews with the broadcast media.  Two topics stand out – the Sun's decision to back the Tories, and whether Brown will get involved in a televised debate – and there's little substantive discussion of the agenda that Brown set out in his speech yesterday.

Now, you could, like Alastair Campbell, say that this is because the media is hell-bent on portraying Brown in a negative light.  But I'd argue that, aside from some crowd-pleasing passages for the Labour faithful, his speech yesterday was remarkably thin.  Any boost it may have provided is already deflating – and rapidly.

Worst of all for Brown, you sense many Labour people realise this.  I've spoken to a few this morning, and the hangover from their celebrations yesterday is certainly kicking in.  There are telling stories about how ministers are stomping around angrily: the FT's Westminster blog reports that Peter Mandelson last night told News International executives they were "out of line", and today's Evening Standard leads with details about Brown "losing it" when interviewed by Adam Boutlon. I suppose that's what the PM must mean when he talks about "fighting"...