Spin from Brown’s people: Milburn as party chairman would be “provocative” and “divisive” and signal that the prime minister wants to conduct a radical campaign, even at the cost of dividing the party. Nick Brown, [pompously] “I regret his [Mr Smith’s] departure very much and dislike the style of the government that allows ministers of the crown to be briefed against with every appearance of it coming from their own side.” Brownies would never do that, would they?
Blair spin: “The government that I lead … is the most ideologically united government that I can imagine for a very long time.” Translated: the knives are out. Frank Field: “summon up the courage” to wrest control of welfare from the chancellor.
The Sun: The man heading the “Ministry of Porn” quit last night, sparking a Cabinet reshuffle and a Downing Street power struggle. Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith resigned 12 days after The Sun told how staff had called up two million pages of internet filth on work PCs.