Brown aide goes amid new turmoil in Cabinet

Gordon Brown was battling to contain cabinet indiscipline last night after Alistair Darling undermined his fightback with a devastating forecast for the economy. The Chancellor was unrepentant over a warning in an interview yesterday that the country is on the brink of the worst economic crisis for 60 years. The fresh infighting came as the 'IoS' learned that Stephen Carter, Mr Brown's high-profile strategist, is to leave his job after a bitter turf war inside Downing Street.

The public relations guru's move to a lower-key role is a victory for the Prime Minister's long-serving advisers, who have have clashed with Mr Carter, but will deepen the sense of a Government in crisis. Less than a month after David Miliband infuriated Mr Brown by setting out his stall as a leader-in-waiting, Mr Darling repeatedly refused to deny that there would be a leadership challenge this autumn.

Asked in a TV interview whether he thought the Prime Minister's position was safe, he said only: "I think Gordon Brown will do a very good job."

In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Darling ignited speculation that he could resign from the Cabinet when the Prime Minister holds an autumn reshuffle. Mr Brown was said to be furious at the sudden intervention from the usually loyal and steady Mr Darling. It threatened to overshadow a planned re-launch this week, which will focus on giving more help to families struggling with the rising costs of housing and fuel.

In echoes of Geoffrey Howe's devastating attack on Margaret Thatcher, Mr Darling told The Guardian: "In 10 months we've gone from doing OK to certainly not doing OK. We patently have not been able to get across what we are for, and what we are about."

Friends of the Chancellor have made it clear that he does not want to be made the "scapegoat" for an imminent recession which could hasten Mr Brown's downfall.

Downing Street said it was "totally relaxed" about Mr Darling's failure to address the question of leadership challenges. But an official pointedly refused to agree with Mr Darling's assessment that the economic crisis is the worst for 60 years. "The Prime Minister agrees it is a very challenging international economic situation."

The Prime Minister will join the Foreign Secretary in Brussels tomorrow for an emergency summit on the crisis in Georgia in their first meeting since Mr Miliband's challenge to Mr Brown's authority a month ago. Rescue plans for housing and fuel poverty will be unveiled later in the week.

George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, said: "This weekend, on the eve of the launch of Gordon Brown's heavily trailed recovery plan, the Government's economic position is falling apart almost hour by hour. Whether he meant to or not, the Chancellor has blurted out the truth about the dire state of the economy and told us in crude but enduring terms what the British people really feel about Labour.

"Either Gordon Brown must back up what Alistair Darling has said or it will be clear to everyone that the Chancellor no longer commands the confidence of the Prime Minister."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?