lib-lab talks

Jim Pickard

The Times has not yet published online the first instalment of Mandelson’s diaries; but we can glean some of their content from that newspaper’s editorial for tomorrow morning.

Apparently, during the post-election coalition talks, Mandelson’s negotiating team was given an ultimatum by Clegg that a Lab-Lib coalition would be impossible unless Brown stepped down.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard this story*, but never before on the record from one of the negotiators. As the Times suggests, the idea leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth (whether or not you admire Brown); the leader of the third party proposing that Britain should be led by a prime minister a] not from the party with the most seats and b] who hadn’t led that party during the general election. Read more