I reported earlier in the week that Peter Slowe, chair of the Labour Finance & Industry Group, was out and about calling for Mandelson as prime minister. Since then I have enjoyed a coffee with Mr Slowe – who could not have been more explicit about his cunning plan.
Now some anonymous Labour rebels (presumably frustrated Blairites) are keen to see Mandelson stand at the next general election, according to Patrick Hennessy in the Sunday Telegraph. They have even identified a possible seat currently held by Hilary Armstrong.
The dismissive reaction from Mandelson’s spokesman: “It is the start of the silly season.”
I’m not so sure. Granted, PM for PM may seem an outlandish prospect. But a year ago no one would have predicted that the then Brussels exile would now be the second most powerful man in government.
The bookies’ odds are still long, 16:1, but have shortened from 200:1 in recent weeks.