Thursday, June 04, 2009

Evening Standard: Dale Was Right About Reid & Brown

Last night, just before midnight I posted this story...



The usual anonymous commenters accused me of making it up. Quelle suprise. Quite why anyone would read this blog if they thought I habitually did that, I have no idea, but I digress.

Today, lobby journalists have been on the case. They asked the PM's Official Spokesman about it, but he stonewalled. The Evening Standard's Paul Waugh & Nic Cecil have now had the story confirmed by two separate sources to my own and splashed with it in their final edition tonight. Here is the story...
Labour heavyweight John Reid has told Gordon Brown that he should consider quitting, the Standard has learned. The former home secretary refused to categorically deny that he had told the Prime Minister that he should consider standing down.

If Mr Reid has issued such a warning, it would be a bombshell intervention as he would be the most influential MP currently calling for Mr Brown to go. Downing Street sources sought to play down the significance of a private meeting between the two men by insisting that they had spoken mainly about football. The talks are said to have taken place in Downing Street.

A No 10 source confirmed that Mr Reid and Mr Brown had met but said it was “rubbish” to say that they had discussed the leadership. Mr Reid dismissed reports of the alleged conversation as “inaccurate”.

The speculation over their talks was sparked by political blogger Iain Dale who reported that at a meeting between Mr Reid and Mr Brown, allegedly on Tuesday night, that the following conversation took place:

Brown: “Will you be my Home Secretary?”
Reid: “No”
Brown: “You have to support me.”
Reid: “No, I don't. I have to support my country and my party, and that means you have to stand down.”

After this was repeated on another blog, Mr Reid's office this morning issued a statement saying: “They are not an accurate account of the conversation between the Prime Minister and John Reid.” The Standard, which has also been told by a Labour source that a conversation along these lines took place, then put the following questions to his office: Did John in any way suggest to Gordon Brown that he should consider standing down? And did they discuss the leadership?

His office failed to fully address these questions in a later statement, saying: “Conversations with the Prime Minister are always confidential. We have never commented on them. Alleged accounts of such conversations are inaccurate.” One MP said: “This shows that John has got the balls to stand up to Gordon.”
It's interesting that there is no categorical denial from Reid. Using the word "inaccurate" sends the signal that the words may not be 100% accurate but the content was. The story is important for several reasons. John Reid is a highly respected former cabinet minister. He speaks for a significant section of the Labour Party. And he had the bravery to do what few others have done. His intervention, which he has not denied, could be a game changer.

Could Reid's words act as a spur to others to have courage? After all, courage is something the Prime Minister admires. In others.

43 comments:

JuliaM said...

"Quelle suprise. Quite why anyone would read this blog if they thought I habitually did that, I have no idea..."

They aren't here to debate, or to educate themselves. They are here to shill for their paymasters, of course...

andrew said...

Refreshing to hear a Labour politician saying his loyalties are to the country first.

Of course, they always should have picked Reid as leader before Gordo.

Newmania said...

That bravery book was ghost written Iain.Hopi Sen is being pretty brave agreeing to be your little bunny rabbit for seven hours .

I`m not sure this will be a good result for the Conservative Party, it will be awful for Labour though

Grumpy Old Man said...

"John Reid is a highly respected former cabinet minister."

Are you absolutely certain you don't make things up?

JBW said...

How can it be considered brave to confront Brown now? His power base is just about finished.

Tom said...

Why does anyone pay heed to what "Number 10 sources" are officially on the record as saying? This is the umpteenth time I've read a quote from them and known it to be untrue. Aren't they thoroughly discredited by now?

Oliver Drew said...

It would've been brave, and better for the country, if Reid had run against Brown in the first place.

Having said that I doubt that he would've made a better Prime Minister, but he would have shown up some of the flaws in Brown's character sooner [for the Labour Party to see].

Anonymous said...

I'll bet Reid rolled up his sleeves first. Iain, you're reliable enough to be nearly always right!

Anonymous said...

Just which country was Reid loyal to? Both parties have gone on and on about bloody Scotland for ever and ever. Could it be that little country? And hasn't Reid already demonstrated his inability to run the English Home Office? Is it only Scots that utterly cock up in this abysmal government? No, of course not, they have all the nontalents from socialist Great Britain.

Kathy said...

Went to vote late morning in Northampton - Polling Station deserted - and leaning over to watch the officer score my name through as having voted, saw with dismay I was almost alone...

Anonymous said...

we were being told last week that Brown was about to invite Vince Cable & Nick Clegg into his cabinet - and what total nonsense that turned out to be.

Now we're led to believe Brown might be inviting Sugar into "his" government.

When will the facts start to emerge from the waffle, the inane, the banal, and the seriously stupid?

Anonymous said...

Oh please, you are here as a cheermaster for the Tories and will post anything that advances that cause. What are you going to do when there is a Tory Government and they treat you as another irritant blogger unless you toe the Tory government line?

Thomas Rossetti said...

"...anonymous commenters accused of of making it up..."

"...accused me of..." surely?

Anyway, good job Iain. Another nail in the coffin of the Dead Tree Press, hopefully.

VotR said...

Wondered why the cabinet had so little old school in it once Gordon took over.

I also wonder if Straw will resign next to fall in line with the new order of solidarity amongst the cloak 'n dagger tactics of Brown's Labour Party enemies. Or will he stay 'til the end on the bridge of the cabinet's good ship Titanic with Captain Jonah?

Dimoto said...

"Oh please, you are here as a cheermaster for the Tories and will post anything that advances that cause. What are you going to do when there is a Tory Government and they treat you as another irritant blogger unless you toe the Tory government line?"

Mr Dale will probably be an MP by then. Chew on that sucker !

Plenty said...

DO we know who the email instigator is yet?

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

"Downing Street sources sought to play down the significance of a private meeting between the two men by insisting that they had spoken mainly about football."

Now that's a hoot. Cause the only sport either is interested in right now is blood sport . . . namely the Texas Cage Death Match scheduled for next meeting of PLP.

Though the reference to football is strangely reminiscant of the way that Nixon loved to talk about American football.

Don't mean to suggest that Brown is in same league (for good or ill) as Nixon. Rather that No. 10 Downing Street has taken on the same bunker psychology as seen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during Watergate.

Demetrius said...

But who would want to take advice from Triclosan Reid? He's about as reliable as the Loch Ness Monster, and as loyal as a Glasgow Kiss.

insert-coin-here said...

As there is a lack of gossip (until 10pm that is) can I ask you to take a look at these scenes from a house of commons in a frenzy today?

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/06/defence-in-house.html


On behalf of the families of the soldiers who have been killed serving their country in the last few weeks,can I pass on their thanks and gratitude that the sacrafice made by their sons is not forgotten.

Cheers.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Isnt it funny, everytime Broon finds his back to the wall, he sends for a Scot from somewhere.He really is bloody tribal isnt he..

Anyway on this occasion it blew up in his face. Whatever you might think of John Reid he doesnt suffer fools gladly. Thats why Gordon Strachan went!!!!!!

Stronghold Barricades said...

Well done Iain

We all had confidence in you

dcw said...

What really gets me is the way the No. 10 press team are phoning it in. Claiming that Reid went to No. 10 to talk football with Brown? Really?

Did I miss the bit where they buried the hatchet over their interminable feud?

Come on guys, come up with a better story next time. Giving Brown head-butting lessons, maybe? Or a shared interest in barbershop singing?

Uncle Bob said...

'Oh please, you are here as a cheermaster for the Tories and will post anything that advances that cause. What are you going to do when there is a Tory Government and they treat you as another irritant blogger unless you toe the Tory government line?'

Alert, everyone! Do not feed the troll.

Is it worth going back to not allowing anonymous posters again?

Tory Bear said...

LIVE CHAT ON TB TONIGHT FROM 9.45

Martin said...

I think if McTwat is forced out he will call an election just to piss off all those that opposed him in his party, knowing most of them will lose their seats.

john in cheshire said...

Reid needs to be in prison too for his actions/ inactions when he was in the defence ministry. another piece of socialist shit,as far as I am concerned. I wonder what he's been claiming for on expenses? Dr David Kelly's wreath?

joe bonanno said...

Reid made an absolute arse of himself when he was 'in charge' on the day of the arrest of the 'plane hijackers'.

Shifting the country to Code Red Defcon One Incoming Duck Everyone !!!!!!! because 'they are still out there' when (as we now know and he knew at the time) all the plotters had been arrested.

Ditto all the idocy on the day (still ongoing) where every bottle of anything was presumed to contain HE material. Again when (as we now know and he knew at the time) there was zero chance of this.

A piece of worldclass grandstanding by a fool who thought he would show us that he was Prime Minister material.

And merely showed us what a fool he is. Which we knew already.

Duncan said...

Christopher Meyer once described him as one of the ministers who stood out like Masai warriors in a crowd of pygmies.

By the way, I went to vote in a polling station in a school carpark and it was completely fenced off from the school. I can't work out a reason for this other than the fear that voters will present a threat to schoolchildren which is a bit depressing.

Ex Pat Highlander said...

As a Scot who fled my homeland many years ago and sought political asylum in England to get away from the Socialist madness that was and has destroyed Scotland ( A bearded Marksist named Alister Darling was was my local Councillor) I have only heard the odd disparaging remark about my birthplace over the last 25 years. In the last four years it is now grown to such an extent that I try to hide my origin as the hatred about the Scots dominated Government has been directed towards us blameless non Socialist voters. Sorry my fellow posters but it does also appear on Mr Dales Blog. I dont blame all English for Culloden, or the Clearanses. Don't be racist some of us are innocent.

Thatsnews said...

Well done, Iain. A good scoop.

In the meanwhile, things are looking bleaker for Brown by the minute, let alone the hour...

Countdown to a Brownout. “'We're doomed,' predicts Labour MP: “Local election turnout 'mixed' as Labour heads for meltdown”

dazmando said...

MR Dale I always believe you. otherwise why bother reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

If Gordon Brown is made to resign, he could always get revenge on them all by calling an election, how many of the MPs would then lose their seats.

Gareth said...

"John Reid is a highly respected former cabinet minister."

With peers like Reid has that is no compliment.

Fergus said...

I don't quite know what twitter is, but is it seemly that you should be shooting a line about your 'huge election'?

I am impressed that you speak Japanese so fluently...

Thats News said...

"Oh please, you are here as a cheermaster for the Tories..."

Iain is very open about being a Tory, anon.

If you do not like reading a Tory blog, when... the answer is in your own hands!

Lime_Smoothie said...

9.51 - Sky News, quoting The Times - James Purnell quits Cabinet.

Magic_2010 said...

Respected? By who? Certainly not the British public who he helped endanger with his total and utter failure to address the prison crisis.

"18 hour days I'll work until this mess is sorted....." blah blah blah

WHERE was his bravery 6 months ago, 12 months ago, 18 months ago? This country has been dying for a long time because of this lunatic Brown and is now so on it's arse, a pissy little rebellion is seen for what it is. Job protectionism.

To Oblivion with the lot of them..

Anonymous said...

If you read what I actually said I didn't accuse you of making it up - I asked if the story was from the same unreliable source as provided you with the story about Tom Watson. But what is more revealing is that you note that the lobby journalists verified the same story from TWO reliable sources - could you please note that is what good journalists do before reporting on such matters - and only in very rare cicumstances would they report something based on just one source. There are plenty of precedents (to which you have added) as to why this is sensible practice. Do you really think that blogs should have lower standards?

I'm afraid that in your eagerness to crow about having got something right you have just revealed the standards by which you operate.

Anonymous said...

Have you actually read those articles Iain?

They don't for one moment back up what you've written. Look at the use of the word "If" in The Standard article for example. They've simply followed what you've written. Rubbish in, rubbish out.

Bishop Brennan said...

Reid would have the balls to do this, especially as he HATES the Prime Mentalist with a passion.

What's really amazing about this is that Gordo is demented enough to believe that Reid would work for him. Another prime case for the Priory, methinks. And asap if this country is to have any chance of avoiding the fate of Argentina circa 1900... :-(

Still, with Purnell gone, he could always try some more Lords like Mandy et al. How about Michael Foot?! Or, if zombies are a step too far, Hattersley.... Tony Benn?!!!!!!

Tom said...

stating the obvious I feel is necessary from time to time.

Can we please replace "Dr John Reid" or "John Reid" in all future mentions of the obnoxious incompetent drunkard halfwit with "John not a shot fired Reid"

please, please , please

And while you're at it why not call him an old friend of the Baku police department....

search BP cocaine Baku £45m

Iy-ee belang tae glasgee , hic

amused expat said...

Talking "mainly about football"

Yet another euphemism to use alongside "tired and emotional" and "discussing William Wilberforce"

Chris Paul said...

I had Purnell going more than 30 hours ahead of the game Iain, and your Reid story is still nto stood up. The bit about the job offer is probably wrong. But Reid is no Brown fan. So what?. Even tweeted Purnell news to Young Dizzy.