“We have been trying to persuade him to stay, we have been saying, ‘can you work this out, can we work it out, for the last few days.”
Apparently Johnson approached Miliband late last week to say that he had family issues which posed a problem. On Monday he returned to say that he wanted to quit. The final decision was made this morning ahead of a trip around the country by Miliband.
The spokesman insisted that the party had been happy with Johnson’s performance: “Whatever people may have thought, we were very happy with his performance as shadow chancellor, we were very happy with the way it was going, it is nothing to do with politics.”
In other words, at this point in time it is still not remotely clear why he has quit.
FURTHER UPDATE: Gordon Brown tells a Fabian event that Balls will be a “great shadow chancellor“. Surely Brown’s endorsement is not what he needs?