Does he know too much about Brown’s role in expense-gate?
There’s a must-read piece by Peter Oborne in the Mail this morning suggesting that if Gordon is complicit (sanctioning a confidence debate say) in Martin’s demise then the prime minister’s position could become even more precarious.
Here’s a taster: “…..the Prime Minister’s supporters fear that if the Speaker believes Brown has betrayed him or been disloyal in any way, he is capable of wreaking a terrible revenge…Their greatest worry if a vengeful Martin spoke out would be that he would reveal Brown was at the very heart of the squalid allowances system which has brought the Commons into such deep discredit.
He could reveal how the Prime Minister was party to all the attempts to prevent the publication of MPs’ expenses. And he could show that Brown’s protestations of horror and outrage at the expenses scandal are just empty rhetoric…In fact Brown was one of the architects of the system. To keep mutinous backbenchers on his side, he allowed them to be bribed with extra rations. It is not going too far to say that the Speaker has the ammunition to destroy the Prime Minister if he makes the wrong move...”
I don’t know whether Oborne is right but his piece sounds plausible and what’s in it must be adding to the stresses at Brown Central.