Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Meet my wife; Don Rickles

Otherwise known as the Cherie amour of the British Prime Minister:

Tony Blair’s farewell speech to the Labour conference was overshadowed today by claims that his wife Cherie had launched another attack on Gordon Brown.

As the Prime Minister rose to address delegates for the last time as Labour leader and Prime Minister, Downing Street was trying to limit the damage from the latest Cherie controversy.

Mrs Blair was already in hot water over claims that she had accused Mr Brown of lying in his speech yesterday. But in a further twist it was claimed today that when she walked past the Union of Communication Workers (UCW) stand, as Mr Brown’s speech was echoing round the hall, she had said: “This is all rubbish.”

She was then said to have turned to two people on the stand and urged them not to back Mr Brown for the leadership, saying:“Anyway, you lot should be supporting Alan Johnson”.

Mr Johnson, a former leader of the UCW, is a potential rival to Mr Brown for the leadership when Mr Blair steps down.

For the second day Downing Street flatly denied that Mrs Blair had made the remarks. But they undermined attempts by the Prime Minister and Chancellor to bury their differences in their speeches from the platform.

However, at the start of his speech the Prime Minister made light of the two incidents involving his wife. After thanking Cherie for her support over the years, he said: “I mean, I don’t have to worry about her running off with the bloke next door.”

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