Peter Hoskin

There may be (more) trouble ahead

There may be (more) trouble ahead
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And so the day begins with reports that the government may be in line for additional trouble and embarrassment.  First, there are murmurings that more smear emails might be about to hit the public domain - and ones which could, in the words of the Times, "gravely embarrass ministers and undermine attempts to portray Mr McBride as a lone rogue".  So far, the Government has been getting by on plausible deniability.  Anything which confirms the implausiblity of that could wreak untold damage on Brown.

And then there's the reappearance of the Damian Green scandal, courtesy of an MPs' report on the matter.  Its unforgiving conclusion - that the Government "exaggerated" the threat to national security posed by the Tory MP's actions - certainly increases the likelihood that the case against Green will be dropped.  If so, with the Smeargate and police brutality scandals rumbling on, the timing would be as bad as it gets for both the Government and the Met.


But even if these fresh problems don't materialise, Brown & Co. are still in quite a spot ahead of the Budget. The original idea was to build on any public goodwill created by the G20 summit and the heavily-spun measures it churned out.  Instead, our Dear Leader could hardly have feared a worse backdrop to his Chancellor's statement next week.