The truth about Alistair Darling

Yes, Brown wanted to move him. Yes, he refused to budge.

It is being reported as news that Gordon Brown tried to replace Alistair Darling as Chancellor and Darling insisted on staying put, based on an interview in the next issue of GQ with Piers Morgan.

I first touched on this here, having asked Darling about it here. For the inside story of how he stayed in government, however, read my piece in last week's magazine, here. It details Brown's poor treatment of his Chancellor. After it appeared, Brown was forced to state that Darling would stay on as Chancellor after the election, were Labour to retain power.

Brown is lucky to have Darling, who, by refusing to make way, helped save Brown from himself. That it has taken the Prime Minister so long to realise this raises questions about his judgement.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.