Amid all the Obamania, don’t miss Sue Cameron’s column today. She says Gordon Brown was casting around for other Blairite figures to join the cabinet before lumping with Peter Mandelson.
I am told that the newly ennobled Peter Mandelson was not Mr Brown’s first choice when he started looking for a Blairite to balance out his cabinet in last month’s reshuffle. Apparently, when Mr Brown decided to bury the hatchet with followers of Tony Blair, the former prime minister, the man he asked first was the former Blairite cabinet “enforcer” Alan Milburn. Word is that Mr Milburn turned him down, saying unkindly that the prime minister was “a disaster”. (I have deleted expletives as we do not want any BBC style “edginess”.) So was Lord Mandelson GB’s second choice? Er . . . no. Read more