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Has Alistair Darling pinched power from Gordon Brown?

Many of the financial press today are suggesting that Alistair Darling, who is expected to lose his position as Chancellor of the Exchequer within the next 12 months, holds all the aces as we approach budget day. The e-mail scandal and various other misdemeanours from 10 Downing Street have weakened the position of Gordon Brown and many believe that Alistair Darling is now dictating announcements from the Treasury and announcements in the budget.

Just a few months ago it would have been crazy to suggest that Alistair Darling was in any way holding power over Gordon Brown but with the Prime Minister's weakened position laid bare for all to see he is very much on the back foot. The last few weeks has seen a number of rumours regarding fallouts and disagreements between Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling - with Peter Mandelson also involved in the mix. Is now the time of Alistair Darling to step forward and take the bull by the horns by announcing substantial moves to refloat the UK economy and relieve the short-term pain felt by many of the UK population?

This week's budget should be more exciting than any in recent times with rumours and counter rumours still rife in the Palace of Westminster.

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