To whom does the following refer: “He may be famous for telling a radio interviewer that eight times seven was 54….but a panel of Mensa members placed him just behind Peter Mandelson in terms of "political quotient" or PQ, a cross between IQ and political acumen.” It’s none other than Stephen “Taxi for Hire” Byers.
Admittedly the piece was written in 1999 – that’s a millennium ago when he was talked about as a future PM. That was before MG Rover in 2000 where as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry he oversaw the sale of that company to the Phoenix Consortium ( also known as a private pension fund for the four directors).
That was before the re-nationalisation of the nation’s railways in 2001. And certainly before the e mail put out by his political adviser Jo Moore which concluded that the day of 9/11 tragedy was a good day to bury bad news.
Before he forced Martin Sixsmith, his head of news, to resign as the price for Jo Moore’s departure.
Also before he agreed to the sale of the Daily Express to the porn publisher Richard Desmond in 2002.
And, of course, before he went completely bonkers and thought anyone with any sense and money would want anything to do with a washed up failed ex polytechnic law lecturer who got lucky and became an ally of Tony Blair.