James Forsyth

The Cabinet fall for another set of cheap promises about Brown changing how he does business

The Cabinet fall for another set of cheap promises about Brown changing how he does business
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The Guardian’s tick-tock of how Peter Mandelson and Number 10 prevented a full-scale Cabinet revolt after news broke of James Purnell’s resignation reveals just how easily the Cabinet were brought off:

“These ministers believe they have won two assurances. First, that cabinet ministers such as Alistair Darling will not again find themselves briefed against. There was deep anger in cabinet when Darling found himself being referred to in the past tense by Brown earlier in the week.

Second, ministers believe they have won assurances that Brown will make more of an effort to consult ministers and backbenchers, ensuring no repeat of the YouTube fiasco when he announced a series of unilateral proposals on expenses. "There needs to be a completely new way of doing things," one source said.”

Now, isn’t this just what we heard after Ruth Kelly resignation was annouced at 3am and McBride was shifted off the front line? Brown’s Downing Street will always operate as it does because it reflects the character of the man at the top.

Those Ministers who won’t move against Brown because they think he’ll really change this time are as delusional as they are cowardly. 

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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