A spritely, slim line Gordon Brown returned to Downing Street today, looking a changed man following his four week holiday. The Prime Minister’s new look caused gasps from some observers as he took his first press conference since July. ‘I hardly recognised him’ said one seasoned journalist, ‘He vaguely reminded me of someone else, but I can’t quite think who.’
Speaking in a slightly hesitant voice, the Prime Minister attributed his new looks to ‘relaxation and plenty of fresh air’ and, in response to a question about the controversial American criticism of the National Heath Service, paid tribute to NHS professionals ‘especially the dedicated skills of the plastic surgery teams.’
In an unexpected move, Mr Brown then announced a number of shock initiatives, including the return of Alastair Campbell as Director of Communications and, most surprisingly, a Peerage for Tony Blair, who as Lord Blair, will become deputy Prime Minister. Mr Brown commented ;It’s great to have him back on board. Despite what you read in the press, Tone and I have always been good friends.’
Mr Brown’s return coincided with the extension of Lord Mandelson’s holiday from his duties as Business Secretary. There is growing speculation in Westminster circles concerning Lord Mandelson, who has not been seen in public since he was admitted to hospital for treatment for what was described as a ‘prostrate condition’. Sensing that Mandelson’s ailment may be more serious than previously revealed, newshounds have been checking nursing homes but have failed to find any trace of him.
Veronica Grant, matron of St. Cuthbert’s, a nursing home for retired politicians, said ‘We’ve had journalists phoning all day long, but was can categorically state that Lord Mandelson is not here.’ adding ‘It’s pretty quiet here at the moment. The only admission this week has been a man who insists that he is the Prime Minister, but the poor chap is clearly barking. He doesn’t look a bit like the man we watched on BBC News today.’