Washington, Sept. 24 (ANI): Former British home secretary Jack Straw has revealed how former Prime Minister Tony Blair twice encouraged him to stand up against Gordon Brown for leadership.
Straw has painted an unhappy picture of Brown as unfit for high office in the second part of his memoirs.
He said that Brown's obsessive desire for the leadership did not equate to his being good at it.
Amid the feud between Blair and Brown, Straw reveals: "On two occasions at least, Tony suggested - I put it no higher than this - that I should think about the leadership once he had gone. 'You could do it, you know, Jack'".
According to the Daily Mail, Blair, who does not emerge unscathed, is portrayed as an often out-of-control prime minister who felt unconstrained by the views of his colleagues or Whitehall.
Straw's assessment of John Smith is also withering. He said that the late Labour leader lacked the 'character needed to sustain him as prime minister' and was 'uninterested in that crucial role of any leader, to see over the horizon and take people there'.
Of Smith's drinking habits, he added: "It is not possible for someone that dependent on alcohol to determine, in advance, when he needed to be sober".
Straw pointed out that, although his powers as Secretary of State were always limited by law, there is no such constraint for a prime minister, and no specific legal counsel for the leader of the country, the report said.
He also admitted he seriously considered standing for the Labour leadership after an article in the Economist suggested he was a candidate.
"I had thought about it quite a bit," he wrote in his memoir, adding: "I reckoned that I could do much of the job. I could certainly have run the government properly".
"Most of all it was hard to see how I could possibly win against the man whose life had been consumed by this one ambition - Gordon Brown," he added. (ANI)