Comment at end
24th February, 2010
Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in name anyway (when Gordon lets him get on with his [Gordon’s] old job) has described the forces of hell coming down on him from Brown’s office.
GUNS AT NOON IN DODGE CITY … DOWNING STREET?
Alistair Darling last night blew open a feud with the prime minister when he claimed that Downing Street unleashed “the forces of hell” on him after he issued a stern warning about the recession in 2008.
In a blow to No 10’s efforts to fight claims that Brown acted as a bully, Darling said he was undermined after warning the world faced the worst downturn in 60 years.
He spoke out when asked about Downing Street’s reaction to a Guardian interview in August 2008 in which he said the world was facing “arguably the worst” economic downturn in 60 years. “I remember the weekend after we came back and I’d done this interview and the forces of hell were unleashed,” the chancellor told Sky News last night.
Asked by the interviewer, Jeff Randall, whether this was by No 10, Darling added: “Not just them, the Tories as well.”
He agreed with Randall’s assertion that two key Brown allies – former spin doctors Damian McBride and Charlie Whelan – had led the briefings against him. “Of course there were people saying things, but frankly my best answer for them is the fact that I’m still here, one of them is not,” Darling said in a reference to McBride, who resigned last year.
The Tories claimed last night that Darling’s intervention undermined No 10’s claims that Brown is not guilty of bullying. A spokesman said: “This is amazing public confirmation from the prime minister’s own chancellor that he ordered his henchmen to brief against him.”
Not why did the forces of hell descend … we know they live next door anyway so are always ready for a good descent. But WHY has Darling mentioned it NOW?
Thickening plots, anyone?