A close friend of Gordon Brown says the chancellor told him he did make a pact with Tony Blair to take over the leadership of the Labour party.
Brown and Blair were shown making a pact in TV show The Deal
Columnist Tom Brown said the chancellor told him nine years ago that Mr Blair had agreed to hand over power halfway through his second term.
Rumours of such a deal have been repeatedly denied by Mr Blair, while Mr Brown has always refused to comment.
Last week Mr Blair made it clear he was planning to stay on for a third term.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Tom Brown said the chancellor told him of the agreement the day after it was struck nine years ago.
The claim came days after the Channel 4 broadcast political drama The Deal.
This was a fictionalised account of the pact between the two men in London restaurant Granita, following the death of former Labour leader John Smith.
Westminster folklore has it that Mr Brown agreed to step aside, on the proviso that Mr Blair would hand over power at some point in the future.
"I'm in absolutely no doubt there was a deal since Gordon phoned me the morning after it was made and told me about it," Tom Brown said.
"But at the same time I also believe that both men left the restaurant with a different version of the deal in their minds.
"They hadn't actually written it down on paper.
"Gordon believed Blair would step down about now actually, and Blair believed that he... hadn't committed himself to any timetable.
"Hence his very clear statement that he's going to go for a third term."
At Labour's conference last week, the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott issued what was taken to be an appeal for an end to the rivalry between the two men.
"This party knows, the whole country knows, that these two achieve more by their common endeavour than they do alone," he said.