A hat tip to Threadneedles (one of our readers) for pointing out that Lord Mandelson has been made “First Secretary of State” – which means he is the new deputy prime minister.
Mandelson has effectively been acting as Brown’s deputy for some time. Perhaps this is a reward for his not getting the Foreign Office?
The title was used by Michael Heseltine, who was simultaneously a deputy PM and first secretary of state. Ditto John Prescott.
Harriet Harman will continue to deputise at PM’s question time, says No 10. But isn’t that because Mandelson doesn’t sit in the House of Commons?