The Granita pact still grates as Gordon Brown finally gives his side of the story
The 1994 dinner confirmed what Blair had already offered' according to Brown.
It may have taken place more than 20 years ago, but Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are still at odds over the so-called Granita pact.
In his first detailed account of the deal, Brown has now claimed that he and Blair made a concrete agreement to divide up their time in office.
In his autobiography, My Life, Our Times, Brown writes: "He would give me control of economic and social policy and would stand down during a second term."
But he also stresses that the deal was agreed several days before their now-famous dinner at the Granita restaurant in Islington.
"I always smile when commentators write that we hammered out a deal in the restaurant. The Granita discussion merely confirmed what he had already offered and I had already agreed," he writes.
“The only new point was Tony’s overture that he wanted to show that, unlike the Tories under Mrs Thatcher, Labour was not a one-person band but a partnership. As we walked out of the restaurant towards his home, he emphasised the word ‘partnership’ again and again, telling me it represented a new departure for British politics.”
Brown’s account of events in 1994 fits in with that provided by Blair. But only to a point.
In keeping with Brown's version of the story, Blair recently said on Radio 4 that "the actual conversation" between the pair about who should be leader took place at two locations in Edinburgh, before the Granita dinner.
However, asked how the issue was resolved, Blair did not mention a jobshare. Rather, he simply said: "The crucial bit was who had the best chance of winning, I think, for the country… And, you know, to be fair to him he accepted that in the end, and it was extremely difficult for him."
Picture by: Michael Stephens/PA Archive/PA Images.