Of the 285 respondents to the latest Accountancy Age/Reed Big Question survey, 61% said they believed that he used big events to serve his political ambitions, while just 27% disagreed.
‘As with the conferences earlier this year, the timing is strictly political,’ said one respondent. ‘To leave the budget this late is all to do with the election coming up and the political impact of the media coverage.’
Alan Taylor of communications company Maxon said Brown was ‘probably just trying to make himself look good so that he can take over Tony’s job’.
A ‘power struggle’ is taking place in the Labour Party, according to one finance director. And the timing is to have as ‘much political impact as possible,’ according to Micromuse FD Sarel Hiemstra.
But a few FDs backed Brown. ‘If Gordon played games like that he would not be chancellor,’ said one FD.
Another said: ‘Brown has always had political ambition and still wants the role of prime minister. That doesn’t mean the Budget is a way of getting there.’
The enduring conflict between Blair and Brown is said to have reached boiling point over Blair’s apparent u-turn in deciding to attempt a full third-term as prime minister.
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