Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Did Downing Street start the David Cairns rumour?

This morning we had the rumour from Nick Robinson, that David Cairns - the Minister of State at the Scotland Office - might be the first ministerial resignation. Robinson wrote on his blog
As I write, Downing Street say that they have not been informed of his intentions and we are trying to contact him in his Inverclyde constituency. If he does go, Team Brown will point out that he is closely linked to the MP whose public call for a leadership contest began this whole business.

Reading Robinson's words suggests to me that "Team Brown" (Damian McBride) had already told him what they would say if he did. At 11am there was an update saying,
A source close to the Scottish Secretary Des Browne has insisted that David Cairns, Minister of State at the Scotland Office, has "no intention of resigning".
The question is, where did the "word on the street" as Nick Robinson called it, come from in the first place? Could it be a bit of smoke and mirrors by Dowing Street again? After all, over the weekend there were allegations that the leaking of the list of names of those who had requested nomination papers came from Number 10. Specualtion is that this was designed to flush them out as few in number and of no significance.

Now jump forward to today. Is it feasible that Number 10 are feeding out the lines about those they suspect of being plotters in the hope of flushing them out into the open and forcing them to make denials? Probable? Unlikely? Who knows?

However, there is a rumour that this is the case. That the "David Cairns might quit" rumour was sourced in Number 10 precisely because "he is closely linked to the MP whose public call for a leadership contest began this whole business". This smoke and mirror type stuff against those that are not trusted is the modus operandi of Team GB, and has been since long before he entered Number 10.

Update: Cairns is quitting say the BBC. If the rumour did start in Downing Street has it backfired like many said the leaking of the list did on the weekend?

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