According to a report in this morning's Telegraph, Rory Bremner has said that on the day of the 2005 General Election he rang a Cabinet minister pretending to be Gordon Brown and the minister was so convinced that he started to ramble on indiscreetly about colleague and cabinet re-shuffles. Bremner said that
"The minister in question advised the Chancellor not to bring Stephen Byers back in to the Cabinet, and generally discussed the prospects of other Cabinet ministers mentioned by name.So the question is, who was it? Bremner is keeping schtum, but he also said he "wouldn't be surprised if it's revealed on the Internet at some stage". Ne'er a truer word spoken.
There is wider point here of course, why was this person advising the Chancellor about who he should and should not bring back into the Cabinet? Does this represent a concession of power by Blair to Brown? Might this explain why Brown has never been fired in a re-shuffle himself?
Update: The Sunday Times says they've heard the tape and it's Margaret Beckett.