A week ago today Stephen Byers wrote a piece in the Sunday Times declaring that Tony Blair was "history" and it was time for the Labour Party to get behind Gordon Brown. I thought this was a significant development, but didn't blog on it at the time because it was New Year and we had people staying and I had loads of cooking to do etc etc.
I did however devote my weekly column in the Newcastle Journal to the story, and this can be read in full on the companion blog.
The digested read is that this olive branch by Byers is intended to lay the ground for other key Blairites such as Alan Milburn and David Blunkett to bring forward new policy ideas without that interpreted as some sort of leadership challenge to Gordon.
I argue that this fresh thinking is what the Brown administration now desperately needs, and that the Prime Minister should accept such help wherever it is being offered.