FT sketchwriter Matthew Engel and I discussed over breakfast the best way for David Miliband to bow out; which now seems 99 per cent likely. Does he do a speech? A written statement? Some kind of pooled TV interview?
The former carries the risk of him overshadowing Ed once again. The second option may not be sufficient to satisfy the media hunger. So we are presuming the third option some time this afternoon – no doubt near the 5pm deadline by which time MPs have to say whether they are running for the shadow cabinet. Read more
It is, of course, entirely co-incidental that Gordon Brown has announced his plans for the future today: just hours after Tony Blair, the yin to his yang, published his autobiography. (Which is apparently flying off the shelves).
Brown will be doing lots of charity stuff – for free – including education work for Africa. The rather sober note struck by Mr Brown is surely not a deliberate attempt to remind the public that he, unlike some, is not a jet-setting millionaire?
He says he will be doing public speaking in the USA, but this will be to fund his charitable work. He has set up something called the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown to pay for staffing costs.
(Incidentally, we asked Ed Balls if his old mentor could come back to the shadow cabinet doing international development; not in a million years was the gist of his response.)
Here is the Press Association:
Gordon Brown announced his plans for the coming months today, including working to increase global access to education and boosting internet use in Africa. The former prime minister will join the Global Campaign for Education’s High Level Panel on Education for All and will work to secure economic justice in Read more
The debate is already underway across Twitter and the blogosphere after David Cameron described himself as “middle class”* during his PM Direct event this afternoon.
Many will be surprised by this comment given that Cameron is an old Etonian, former Oxford student, prime minister, descendant of MPs – and ultimately of William IV – and husband of an aristocrat. He admitted earlier this year that he had had a “very posh, very privileged upbringing.”
Is this the final proof of the classless society? (It was John Prescott – the former ship steward turned deputy prime minister – who famously said in 1997 that “we are all middle class now“.) Read more