Which is worse – Brownite smears or the Home Office?

At the end of last week, Labour MP Paul Farrelly complained he was the victim of a Number 10 smear operation (see post below).

Now, another Labour MP has complained about exactly the same thing. Upon resigning as environment minister this morning, Jane Kennedy said:

‘I’ve been unhappy for sometime about smears against colleagues, about the undermining of colleagues and friends orchestrated by Number 10… It’s how politics is driven forward by Gordon and the people around him.’

Numerous Labour MPs have now been subjected to the smear treatment. Soon after Tony Blair stood down, potential rivals to Brown suddenly found lots of negative stories about themselves in the press. More recently David Miliband experienced it. Even unthreatening types such as poor old Ivan Lewis have suffered. In the run-up to last week’s reshuffle Alastair Darling was the subject of negative briefing by Brown aides. 

One big name to escape the smear treatment is Alan Johnson – instead he has been given poisoned chalice of the Home Office, which many Westminster insiders think could be even worse…


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