With all the focus today on the technicalities of the handover of power, a
fellow blogger has dropped me a line to point out that a quirk of today's events
has seen Gordon Brown apparently retaining his job as Chancellor as well as
Prime Minister. One of his first acts on returning from the Palace, according to
the afternoon lobby briefing, was to appoint Tony Blair 'Steward of the Chiltern
Hundreds' - the constitutional device for an MP to resign their seat. However,
the token appointment is traditionally one for the Treasury, and the press
notice from his old office therefore stated: "The Chancellor of the Exchequer
has this day appointed the Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to be
Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern." (Source).
So it seems until he appoints Alistair Darling to the role tomorrow,
Gordon Brown is still technically Chancellor. Even more interesting, as in his
budget speech this year he began with a joke: 'I am told that in the past two
centuries only one Chancellor before now has delivered 11 Budgets, and then a
12th. That was when Mr. Gladstone combined the positions of Chancellor and Prime
Minister, something no one should ever contemplate doing again'. So - the
Brown government is not yet a day old, and we already have his first U-turn!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The First Lord of the Treasury's First and Last Act
Nigel Fletcher has an interesting blogpost...