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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
PM shouting match book 'censored'
Gordon Brown and Tony Blair
Are No 10-Treasury relations strained again?
The publisher of a book by Tony Blair's ex-advisor told the BBC the UK's top civil servant tried to get passages about the PM and Gordon Brown cut out.

Iradj Bagherzade said Sir Andrew Turnbull was trying to "eviscerate" the book and had asked for "very extensive" and "very unreasonable" changes.

The Cabinet Office said the clearance of Derek Scott's book was being handled in "line with normal practice".

The relationship Mr Brown and the PM has long been a subject of speculation.

Campaign of lies?

Downing Street has already attacked ex-economics advisor Mr Scott's book which reportedly describes "shouting matches" between the chancellor and Mr Blair.

Mr Brown has complained of a campaign of "lies" was being run against the Treasury.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said the chancellor's statement was directed only at Mr Scott's book.

Such books were only written to "make money" and "cause trouble", she added.

That claim was dismissed by Mr Bagherzade as "amusing".

Insider's view

He said the advance paid to the author would not send him to Monte Carlo.

Mr Scott was the prime minister's economics adviser until last December and is well-placed to give an insider's account of the links between the Treasury and Downing Street.

His memoirs, Off Whitehall, are expected to be published ahead of Labour's annual conference in September.

Derek Scott, former No 10 adviser
Scott reportedly thinks Brown kept No 10 in the dark

As well as detailing shouting matches the book is understood to criticise Mr Brown for keeping Number 10 in the dark over policy initiatives.

The manuscript is currently being examined the cabinet secretary to make sure it breaks no secrecy laws.

Reports of Mr Scott's alleged revelations prompted Mr Brown's spokesman to issue a rare statement.

It said: "This deliberate peddling of lies and distortions about Europe, tax and public spending and the management of public finances is deliberately designed and orchestrated to put the Treasury in a bad light and will not be tolerated."

Banter?

The latest apparent increase in tensions between No 10 and the Treasury comes at a time when it was widely believed Mr Blair and Mr Brown had ironed out many of their differences.

However earlier this month Spectator editor and Tory MP Boris Johnson claimed Mr Blair's chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, had told him Mr Brown would never be prime minister.

No 10 admitted Mr Powell had engaged in "banter" with Mr Johnson while the pair stopped at traffic lights on their bikes. But he denied making the reported remarks.

Mr Blair himself recently praised Mr Brown as a "brilliant chancellor" but stopped short of endorsing him as his successor.




SEE ALSO:
Powell 'did not damn Brown hopes'
03 Jun 04  |  Politics
Blair coy over 'PM Brown'
30 May 04  |  Politics
Prescott fuels Blair speculation
26 May 04  |  Politics
Blair 'not ready to stand down'
16 May 04  |  Politics
Will he stay or will he go?
14 May 04  |  Politics


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