Peter Hoskin

The day ends on a sour note for Labour

The day ends on a sour note for Labour
Text settings

Two Labour figures, two bad news stories.  The first is Tony Blair, and the news that he has given up on the role of EU President – leaving the path more or less clear for the Belgian PM, Herman Van Rompuy.  The second is Harriet Harman, and the news that she faces prosecution for allegedly "driving without due care and attention and driving while using a mobile phone."

The Blair story is significant enough on its own – but throw in Harman, and it's doubly certain that Brown's legislative programme will be shunted right off the news agenda.  But isn't that a good thing for Labour, you might ask, given the kicking the Queen's Speech was subjected to in this morning's press?  Well, perhaps.  But I suspect that Downing St would prefer some debate, rather than cold indifference, at this stage.

All told, there'll probably be a few smiles in CCHQ tonight.  One of Brown's last chances to win hearts and minds has unravelled in record time.  And, to top it off, there'll be no President Blair...