It's a Brown day for Britain

A big change for the nation today. Tony Blair leaves Downing Street after 10 years in the hot-seat, off to have a crack at succeeding where so many have failed before - solving the interminable mess that is the Middle East. That should keep him busy for a bit. In the mean time we've got his old sparring partner Gordon, who'll be heading to see the Queen this afternoon and should be swapping the dispatch box for a set of keys to the house next door.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Things are starting to change already. Quentin Davies, a long-time Tory and MP for Grantham and Stamford, has ‘crossed the floor' to the red camp, slamming David Cameron's ‘PR agenda' and determination ‘to strike a pose'. He should find himself in better company under the wing of Brown, whose critics characterise him by contrast as 'all substance and no style'.

The business world, meanwhile, will be keeping a close eye on Brown's ‘Business Council for Britain'. The new PM is known to be a big friend of business, and his rise has already caused a flurry of cash donations from figureheads such as Sir Ronald Cohen to bolster Labour's coffers. The council, Brown says, will advise the government on policies that affect the private sector, and to bring in a fresh perspective on issues such as skills and business support reforms. All very sensible.

But his appointments to the council have already caused a stir. Tesco's Sir Terry Leahy may be a no-brainer, but the unions are sure to throw their toys out of the pram over his championing Damon Buffini, chief exec of Permira and one of the three private-equity chiefs who last week suffered a very public grilling from the Treasury select committee.

The rest of us, meanwhile, can't quite understand how the Apprentice's Sir Alan Sugar made the cut. Perhaps Gordon is going to be taking lessons on how to fire people ahead of his first crack at managing the Cabinet.


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