James Forsyth

That must have hurt Darling

That must have hurt Darling
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Peter Mandelson has just been on TV stressing what pressure Smith and Blears have been under because of the expenses story and trying to spin that as the sole reason they have resigned. He was then asked about Darling and his response was that Darling was another person who had found himself in the eye of the storm “fairly or unfairly”. It is hard not to read this as a sign that Mandelson is signed onto the plan to move Darling out of the front line.

It really does look as if Brown is going to try and place Balls at the Treasury in the reshuffle. But if he does, it is hard to see how he survives. As one left wing Labour MP said to me on Monday, which seems like an age ago now, when I asked him about the prospect of Balls becoming Chancellor, ‘it’s not just the Blairites who hate him. We all do.’

PS There was a classic moment at the end of the interview when Mandelson attacked Cameron's mortgage arrangements. You really couldn't make it up.

 

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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