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So what job has Jack been promised?

May 31st, 2007

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    What’s his reward for delivering Brown his coronation?

Looking back over the past three months the move that secured the leadership and Number 10 for Brown without the bother of a contest was the appointment of Jack Straw to run the Chancellor’s campaign.

At the time Straw himself was being tipped as a contender and everybody assumed that he must have been promised something big. But what was that going to be for the former boss of both the home and foreign offices? Blair had moved him out of the latter, it was reported, because of protestations from Condoleezza Rice.

The only one of the the major posts that he hadn’t held was Chancellor and on the markets all the money starting going on him to be Brown’s successor there. From a price of more that 8/1 in February the Straw betting moved to him becoming the 6/4 favourite for the treasury.

    Given the sensitivities about having too many Scotsmen in top positions and the assumption that Gordon would not want to upset the White House by giving Straw back the foreign office the chancellorship looked the obvious one.

But the money began moving away from Straw in the past week or so following the suggestions that he might be being lined up for Deputy PM.

Now the messages that are coming out are that the winner of Labour’s deputy leader contest will, like John Prescott, get that role.

    If the latest deputy PM speculation is to be believed then we are back to the question – what’s Jack been promised?

In the “next chancellor” betting Scotland’s Alistair Darling has now tightened to what seems to be an incredibly mean 2/5 while Straw is the 8/1 second favourite.

At these prices I think it’s worth a punt again on Straw.

Mike Smithson

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