Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gordon Brown did offer ministerial jobs to the Liberal Democrats!

There was a story in this mornings Guardian saying that Gordon Brown and Menzies Campbell met and discussed offering some Liberal Democrats ministerial posts. What has been clear over the course of the day is that a meeting did take place and jobs were on the table. They were, we are told refused.

This offer was apparently refused, and the Liberal Democrats have also that they did not know that was the subject of the meeting.

We do know that Ming Campbell is closer to Labour than the Conservatives, after all he was on record as setting 5 tests for Gordon Brown and making it clear that he wanted nothing to do with the Conservatives or David Cameron. It would be electoral suicide in my view though as it would make it clearer than ever that a vote for the Liberal Democrats would be a vote for Labour.

Even if it was secretly Gordon and Ming's ambition to form of coalition neither Labour or Liberal Democrat activists would wear it, and Ming now knows that.

So who told the media? And why?

Benedict Brogan of the Daily Mail raises some interesting lines on this on his blog, saying that the Westminster rumour says it was Paddy Ashdown, one of the people in the frame for a job.

Is he so hungry for a ministerial job that he would leak this sort of information or has he got a terminally big mouth? If it was not him could it be one of Brown's team upset at being spurned? We don't know for sure, but it is fun watching the strife it causes.

This is causing much internal strife in the parliamentary Liberal Democrat party (and probably beyond), which is something that grieves me deeply*. Tomorrow's Guardian carries an article to that effect (an update will be made later).

All interesting stuff.

The Times also has this, and Nick Robinson has this on his blog.

*Only joking!

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