Brown holidays while Mandy promises a quiet week

By Ian Dunt

Gordon Brown started his holiday in the Lake District today, while business secretary Lord Mandelson told journalists he did not plan to enter Number 10 while running the country.

It is the third year Mr Brown has holidayed in the UK.

He used to spend summer breaks in Cape Cod in the US, but holidayed in Dorset in 2007, until he had to return to Westminster due to the outbreak of foot and mouth.

Last year, he spent an uninterrupted holiday in Suffolk.

Lord Mandelson felt no such urge, and has just returned from Corfu, where he spent a week in the company of Nat Rothschild – the same arrangement which landed him in spectacular trouble last year.

He insisted yesterday he was not in charge and would only go to Number 10 if there was a crisis.

“All this ridiculous song and dance about who is in charge is just a load of nonsense, but Brown is on holiday and if there are small things I can pick up to give him the best holiday that he deserves, I’ll certainly do that,” he said.

The previous duty minister, Harriet Harman, caused consternation among Downing Street officials after she launched a broadside against all-male leaderships and prevented the publication of a review of rape conviction rates in an effort to expand the remit of the report.