But Ashdown was was indeed offered a cabinet post yesterday - Northern Ireland secretary. The Liberal Democrats will be furious about this as it adds further fuel to the Tory claim of Vote LibDem Get Labour.
Ashdown turned it down outright and made it public today before Labour could. Some people believe this is pure political mischief making by Brown. He knew the LibDems would turn it down, but in doing so it would cause them much internal trouble. The Independent reports today that LibDem MPs are furious with Sir Ming Campbell for meeting Brown on Monday in the first place. They view it as a gross political misjudgement. The Indy says...
[LibDem MPs] protested yesterday that a clique of 'elderly Scots' - including Sir Menzies and one of his closest aides Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope - had got too close to Mr Brown and the Scottish Labour establishment. One said: "This report has the distinct ring of truth about it. Amongst all the smoke there is definitely fire." Another warned: "We are steaming about it".
Meanwhile, staff at CCHQ were rubbing their hands with glee.
UPDATE 10am: Sky are now reporting that Ming Campbell did indeed discuss LibDems taking junior ministerial positions in a Brown government, but not Cabinet positions. The man has no political acument whatsoever.
UPDATE 12.45pm: Nick Robinson has a very good timeline on his blog HERE. A perfect example of why journalists should have a blog. He reveals that Ming was offered a series of junior ministerial positions. Instead of turning them down outright, he went to discuss it with colleagues. He then appointed Archy Kirkwood as point man to continue liaising with Brown's fellow Scot, Alistair Darling.
The interesting thing here is that the whole thing is Paddy Ashdown's fault. If he hadn't leaked the offer to Alan Rusbridger on Tuesday evening, the whole sorry series of events might never have come to light. Or at least not in this way, which has been deeply damaging to the LibDems. I suspect Gordon Brown will be grinning to himself over his late night whisky tonight.