Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair thought his successor Gordon Brown was "bonkers" and a "malign force" hell-bent on his destruction.
The extracts from ex-media chief Alastair Campbell's diaries shone a light on the tension and bitterness behind the scenes during Blair's decade in office from 1997, when Brown served as his Chancellor of the Exchequer. The sections from Campbell's latest volume of diaries, The Burden of Power: Countdown to Iraq, were published in the Guardian yesterday.
In an entry from September 2002, Campbell said Blair felt a "dark cloud of GB (Brown) over him the whole time. He said GB was getting desperate and now was acting as a destructive force much of the time". Blair said: "He's brilliant and ambitious but he's also bonkers and I just can't be bothered with it."
Two months later, Campbell recorded Blair as saying the worst thing about the situation was that "I still try to help him and he basically treats me like shit".
Later, Campbell recorded: "The general feeling now ... around the Cabinet table ... was that GB was pretty hell-bent on TB's destruction. TB said he still felt we had to try to get it back together."
By the end of November 2002, "TB said he now accepted GB was a largely malign force".