When The Slog revealed six weeks ago that Alistair Darling had said of Gordon Brown “That man has got to go” the media ridiculed the report. But the same source categorically asserted this afternoon that Darling’s frank comments will cost the Chancellor his job if Labour is returned to power.
The Prime Minister has admitted at last that his relationship with Alistair Darling is ‘difficult’. Today The Slog reveals how the Prime Minister has already made his mind up to fire the Chancellor should he win the election.
For Gordon Brown, making the decision to stab a colleague who contradicts him is a relatively easy process. It’s the more tricky stuff about when to hold an election that seems to elude him. But Alistair Darling’s aside to aides last week that his boss ‘simply can’t face the truth’ has sealed his fate. In private, Darling accepts this, but regards the likelihood as academic.
“Tory wobbles or not” a Treasury source told us today, “Alistair has accepted that Gordon won’t be around after May…and it is looking increasingly like May.”
This in turn reflects the widely-held view that even if there is a hung Parliament, Brown will not survive. Said a senior Libdem last week:
“Brown is unacceptable to us – and that includes Nick Clegg. I cannot imagine any circumstance under which Brown could remain as PM, apart from an outright win. Even if that happened, the anti-Browns would get him within weeks”.
In the last month, two Slog Labour sources have concurred with that analysis. A third told the Telegraph last week that the first Party task after winning the election would be “getting rid of Gordon”.
Having rowed with Brown in January, Darling went off in search of coup supporters. But Clerical Ali isn’t that good at the plotting thing: Geoff Hoon was wearing a sign at the time saying ‘Coups arranged, apply here’, but the Scottish solicitor seems to have missed it.