many of the supportive emails issued were almost identically worded - fuelling suspicions that they were part of a Downing Street effort to bolster Brown's position.It does seem a bit unfair to attack Purnell in this way, given that he has just put his career on the line. But you can see where Prescott is coming from; Purnell always seems a bit too full of himself and with those silly sideburns reminds me of an up and coming but ultimately flawed from a Thomas Hardy t.v. adaptation.
And former deputy prime minister John Prescott used a message on the Labourhome blog to dismiss Purnell as "not so much a Blairite as a careerite".
Quick update, I've just realised that the Daily Mail's Ian Drury has called Purnell, "the 'sideburned schmoozer' who milked his expenses".
his kamikaze bid last night may have come about by the realisation that he has been tainted by the expenses crisis.
A key ally of ex-Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, Mr Purnell has also been accused of avoiding thousands of pounds in capital gains tax by designating one of his properties as both a main residence and a second home.
He was also embroiled in a fake photos scandal when it was revealed that his image had been crudely inserted into a publicity shot after he failed to turn up to the even on time.
Weeks earlier, he had lectured broadcasters that they were 'forfeiting public trust' with scandals over doctored footage and faked competitions.