Yesterday's Spectator carried a piece by John Kampfner which claimed that the attempt was part of an explicit deal agreed between Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, who in return protected Brown in his hour of need. It's a good story, but the flaw in it is that the government has been spinning for some time that the inquiry was to be in secret.
At the end of the Independent piece, Brown's spokesman also describes the story, but for different reasons:
We would certainly deny the suggestion that the Prime Minister has done any sort of deal," the spokesman said. We are not having the inquiry in secret so the whole premise of the article does seem to fall down on that basic point."The prime minister's spokesman seems to believe that if he rewrites history to pretend that an open inquiry was always the plan, everyone else will forget that Brown inisted last week that the inquiry must take place in secret.