Martin Bright

The Row Over Brown’s Temper Just Got Weirder

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The sight of two unelected members of the legislature and John Prescott lecturing Andrew Rawnsley about political propriety on Newsnight last night was one of the more surreal moments of the past week. 

Lord Steel in particular has very little right to the moral high ground as a longstanding member of the board of General Mediterranean Holidings, the company owned by Nadhmi Auchi a British-based Iraqi billionaire convicted of fraud in the French Elf-Aquitaine scandal in 2003.

This business of bullying in Downing Street just gets weirder all the time. Whoever allowed the combined might of Downing Street' spin vultures to swoop down and peck at the bones of the tiny Anti-Bullying Helpline was not doing the Prime Minister any favours.

Christine Pratt's behaviour has been far from perfect, but everybody knows that bullies specialise in identifying their victim's weak point and gnawing away until the tears flow.  

The targeting of Pratt has been demeaning for Number 10. Officials should have issued a simple statement to the effect that no concerns about bullying had been brought to the attention of Downing Street, but that any such claims would be taken extremely seriously.