Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kelly quits the government

The sight of outgoing Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly pleading innocence about her decision to quit the government was, frankly, bizarre. Yet another New Labour stooge suddenly discovers that their family is very important and resigns before the total project implodes. However she spins it, there is no way this wasn't a direct attack on the Prime Minister.

Kelly was apparently outed by a leak from No.10 to the BBC. If I were Brown, I'd be looking to my own personal staff to see who is plotting. But she could have deferred making a statement. She hijacked the news agenda, just hours after Brown had made a reasonable speech and did so to move the story straight back to splits.

Kelly, who represents the marginal seat of Bolton West, has been quite out of step with government for some time. This may be to do with religion - who knows, except her - but she is quite well known for straying from the Brown leadership.

When you add all these things together, you cannot help but conclude that this is a woman who knew what she was doing. Brown's back on the rocks. I hope he enjoyed his few hours of political safety.

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