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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 June 2007, 05:07 GMT 06:07 UK
Blair 'made plans to axe Brown'
Gordon Brown and Tony Blair
Mr Brown was not to be informed of the plans, the newspaper says
Tony Blair made detailed plans to sack Gordon Brown from the Treasury two years ago, a Sunday newspaper claims.

The Independent on Sunday says a leaked Cabinet Office document reveals that the PM intended to move Mr Brown to another post after the 2005 election.

The paper claims Mr Blair's aim was to loosen Mr Brown's "control over the domestic agenda" but that he ditched the plan after the election.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on leaked documents."

The Independent on Sunday said that plans from the March 2005 document, which was prepared by a handful of civil servants, were to be put in place immediately after the general election.

'Lowest ebbs'

The document includes draft speaking notes for the prime minister and a briefing for the "new chancellor", the Independent says.

It details qualities that would be needed by a new chancellor, which included "lack of personal investment in previous policies" and "teamwork".

The Independent says that, when the document was secretly drafted, the relationship between Mr Blair and Mr Brown was "at one of its lowest ebbs".

That followed Mr Blair's choice of former health secretary Alan Milburn to head the 2005 election campaign, instead of Mr Brown.

The Independent says the document listed policy decisions to be made throughout the third term, including raising the retirement age and making a "nuclear decision".

But the paper said plans to reshape the Treasury were scrapped after Mr Brown stepped in to successfully take on the election campaign.


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