Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blair planned to sack Brown

The Independent reveals government papers which show that Blair planned, in detail, to sack Brown and break up the Treasury, after the last election.

One warning though: the plan seem to have involved John Birt - so no wonder it didn't go ahead.

But seriously, the detail of this planning - including draft speaking notes for the announcement and a profile of qualities the new chancellor should have - demonstrates a remarkable degree of distrust between Blair and Brown, to an extent which hasn't previously been clear in such a concrete fashion:

The paper provides the first concrete proof that the speculation was true, including draft speaking notes for the Prime Minister, a briefing for the " new Chancellor", as well as a list of personal qualities Mr Brown's successor should have.

Marked "Copy No 1 - Prime Minister Confidential Policy", the paper says the new Chancellor's qualities must include "lack of personal investment in previous policies". It adds that "teamwork" is a key asset, something that arch-Blairites have accused Mr Brown of being incapable of.

The document adds that on the first day in office Mr Blair should " convey to the new Chancellor" his plans to split the Treasury and hand many of its key roles, including responsibility for tax credits, to other ministries.

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