It can't be true. Among the litmus tests to be applied to the long-awaited smooth transition of power is patronage. Anyone following the varied fortunes of the Labour Party knows its finances need urgent restructuring. Gordon Brown's honeymoon following his appointment as Prime Minister is likely to be extremely short-lived if he were to substitute Sir Ronald Cohen for Lord Levy as opined by William Langley in today's Sunday Telegraph.
While his first task will be to rebuild Labour's depleted finances before the next election, his real job is likely to be as a globetrotting uber-envoy, bypassing the Foreign Office and reporting directly to the prime minister, and with a particular focus on the Middle East. This, as cynics will note, was also the speciality of Lord Levy, the flashy ex-pop impresario currently at the centre of Scotland Yard's "cash for peerages" investigation.
This seems completely inconsistent with other reports that Brown intends to restore the civil service's role in advising ministers. It would also be completely inconsistent with advice from the LabOUR Commission about the need to restore members' confidence in the leadership of the Labour Party. Re-establishing probity must be part of Brown's mission, not apeing the patronage of his predecessor.
Wake up, Kenyon. It was only the Sunday Telegraph. Was it?