Former Home Secretary Jack Straw has revealed how ex-prime minister Gordon Brown became "obsessed" by being Prime Minister, a job he knew he wasn't fit for, during the last years of Labour.
Discussing his upcoming autobiography, Last Man Standing, on BBC Radio 3's Night Waves on Thursday night, Straw told how towards the end of the last Labour government the cabinet, and Brown himself, realised that being Prime Minister "was a job that he couldn't properly do" and that "he just lacked the fundamental qualities to do it."
Straw went into detail about Brown's difficulty with decision-making, claiming "he didn't understand that if you're Prime Minister you're faced with decisions which come in the door and the window all the time," unlike when he was Chancellor.
The 66-year-old also criticised Brown's man management skills, saying Brown "didn't properly understand the importance of how you bring together a team", and brought in characters competent in the "dark arts" which "undermined trust in him and his trust in others."
Besides Brown, Straw discussed his views of Tony Blair - "I admire him but we all have flaws" - and Peter Mandelson, who he similarly described as "a man of very great talent but... also a man of some very considerable flaws".
Straw candidly discussed how he would alter the formation of cabinet, for example instituting more structure, with subsections such as a 'national economic council' within the Cabinet, which he believed would improve the way the country is run.
Straw said he believed a firmer Cabinet structure would have significantly improved the decision-making process during the last Labour governments - he comments that the most frustrating feature of Tony Blair was that he "didn't understand the importance of process, he thought process was boring".
The former home secretary also said he believed he could've been a "reasonably effective Prime Minister" but never thought he could overcome Gordon Brown.
You can listen to the full audio of the interview on the BBC website.Suggest a correction