This is from the blog of the excellent Iain Martin of the Wall Street Journal:-
“…the crucial meeting yesterday afternoon was between the chancellor and Gordon Brown.
Alistair Darling and Brown were alone together; they were the only two in the room. But extraordinary rumors are emerging about what was said.
Iâ€™ve heard from two Labour sources now that the conversation was very difficult and that Darling raised the possibility of Brown going, but the PM resisted. It would be taking it too far, says a well-placed MP, to say that the mild-mannered Darling told his old friend-turned-foe to call it a day. He said it was more that Darling floated the possibility of a swift departure for the sake of the party.
Darlingâ€™s short statement after the meeting was hardly a ringing endorsement. â€œAs far as Iâ€™m concerned we should be concentrating on the business of government and getting through the recession.â€
You might have expected Darling to say something stronger than that.
I just wonder whether there might be more to come on this even before the general election.
For a chancellor to be talking to his Prime Minister like this must be almost unprecedented. During those frenetic days in November 1990 the then chancellor, John Major, remained at home recovering from a wisdom tooth operation.