David Pitt-Watson was Gordon Brown’s favoured candidate to replace the disgraced Peter Watt, who quit in the row over Labour’s donations by proxy and is under investigation by the police. Gordon sat in at the NEC meeting to personally push through
the City fund manager’s appointment. LabourHome
reported this morning that he “has changed his mind about wanting the job before he has even started”
Downing Street’s spin machine went into over-drive to conceal what will look like a bad error of judgement by Gordon. The official line is, implausibly, that David Pitt-Watson has contractual duties which preclude him starting before the Labour Party’s annual conference in September. Guido has confirmed that this is far from true.
No. 10 has been desperately searching for a face-saving way out of the embarrassing situation for the last week. The person selected and championed by Gordon in the face of opposition by traditionalists has decided he doesn’t want the job. The Brownies plan is to maintain the pretence that David Pitt-Watson is to be Labour’s new General Secretary until after the party conference. At which time an excuse will be found and the acting General Secretary, Chris Lennie, will slip into the post. As preparations for civil war post Mayor Boris advance they couldn’t even keep that from leaking to bloggers….