"[Smith] insists she wasn't forced out - that Brown asked her to stay when she first said she wanted out. But, she says, the job had become untenable. She'd lost control of what was said about her, she'd lost her confidence and she was demoralised. 'Gordon didn't have to ask me to stay when it was just me and him in the room. He could have just accepted it. But I do think it would have been difficult for me to continue.'"
Even before the porn and bathplug revelations, the word in Westminster was that Brown was looking to ditch Smith in the next reshuffle - and her track record as Home Secretary made that completely understandable. But if the PM really did want her to stay after the expenses controversy broke, then - once again - you've seriously got to question his political judgement.