Are the stakes getting higher for Assistant Commander Yates too?
According to Independent this morning Downing Street has been pressing hard for Tony Blair to be treated as a witness and not a suspect when Assistant Commander John Yates holds his expected interview with the PM in the next week or so.
Everything comes down to whether Yates decides that Blair should be given a caution at the start of the interview – a decision which could have a huge impact on the departure date betting.
For as we have noted before the impact of the Prime Minister being cautioned would be overwhelming and the air-waves will be dominated by speculation over how long he could survive.
This according to the report by the Indy’s Crime Correspondent, Jason Bennetto, is being described as a “million dollar question” by a Whitehall source. The newspaper also says that Cabinet members were consulted about the pound loans from four people who Blair later nominated for peerages.
Meanwhile the stakes are getting pretty high for Assistant Commander Yates. A report on ThisisLondon suggested that “Tony Blair and his allies are secretly planning an all-out assault on the police conducting the cash for peerages investigation if they fail to bring charges against him….The move is identical to Downing Street’s response to Lord Hutton’s report into the death of Ministry of Defence weapons expert Dr David Kelly..Labour called for heads to roll at the BBC and the Corporation director general Greg Dyke and chairman Gavyn Davies were forced to resign “
Punters are taking a rosy view of Blair’s chances and there has been a tightening of the price on a Q3 2007 announcement that Blair is “officially ceasing to be” Labour’s leader.
Poll news. Andrew Cooper, boss of Populus, has advised me that the firm’s December survey for the Times will appear next week and not this. Normally Populus comes out in the first week of the month but I think they are waiting in order to test the impact of Gordon Brown’s pre-budget statement – due in the Commons this afternoon.