Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Straw operates...

Lobbydog quizzed Labour stalwart Jack Straw last night on how close he was to Geoff Hoon’s plotting against Gordon Brown.

I wanted to know how he looked and sounded when the allegations made in Andrew Rawnsley’s book – that in 2008 he and Hoon had sought to topple Brown, but later changed their minds – were put to him in front of a room of people.

As you may remember the book, The End of the Party said Straw had met with Stephen Byers and Charles Clarke to discuss the issue.

Straw had allegedly indicated to Byers that he and the chief whip, Geoff Hoon, would "take action before the party conference" in the autumn of 2008.

The plan apparently fell apart when Hoon was bought off with the offer of an EU Commissioner’s job that never came through.

When I first asked Straw about the allegations he replied that Hoon had in no way contacted him about the most recent botched coup with Patricia Hewitt.

I pointed out that this was not what I had asked about and that in the book…

“I like my bedtime reading to be something that is not absolutely to do with work,” he joked.

Eventually getting to the crux he said: “In the period between the Crewe by-election and the Glasgow East by-election there were a lot of conversations amongst people.

“Those were to do with the fact that one was caught in a very difficult situation not to do with plotting a coup. I was never involved in one, and I haven’t been.”

Make of that what you will.

Straw faced a whole bunch of tough questions during the briefing but managed to answer them all without losing his demeanour, without losing his sense of humour and without putting any hacks' backs up.

It’s no wonder he’s been around for such a long time – he’s one of the few Labour politicians to have survived a stint at the Home Office.

Wonder where he’ll be May 7th?


Catosays said...

Hopefully, joining the queue at the Dole Office!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that he will be treated with all the respect and deference that is normally accorded to an older gentleman when he goes to the dole.... None.

The Merry Man said...

He`s a slippery snake ...

Anonymous said...

I suspect that he has Plan B ready and this will involve various directorships and consultancies and things to do with Taxis and The Knowledge

Anonymous said...

Swinging from the end of a rope at the end of Wigan Pier

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