Peter Hoskin

The loser from the Kevan Jones storm is Gordon Brown

The loser from the Kevan Jones storm is Gordon Brown
Text settings

Guido went there, and the newspapers decided to follow.  After the political blogosphere's favourite son outed Kevan Jones as the minister behind the attempted smear campaign against Richard Dannatt, the defence minister gets namechecked in all of this morning's publications. Jones is, naturally, distancing himself from the accusations - but there are intriguing hints that Dannatt himself knows who the culprit is, and may act against him.  This in today's Sun:

"The General knows the identity of the man behind the bid, The Sun can reveal. He has considered forcing his resignation."

If Jones - or any other member of the government - can be tied to the smear plot, then it's certainly a resigning matter.  Our political representatives should have much better things to do than sullying the name of an Army chief who only has eight more days left in his job.  Better things like administering to the conflict in Afghanistan, say.

But, even if resignations do come, you suspect that the real loser from all this would be - and could already be - Gordon Brown.  One promise he allegedly made when hanging onto his Cabinet in June was that he'd stop briefing against his government colleagues.  Sure, Dannatt isn't one of them.  But this episode could reopen the old wounds, and convince some that Brown still presides over an operation built on smears and character assassination.  Hardly the best platform for our PM ahead of conference season.