Labour tensions explode again as Brown plants 11ft leylandii hedge
Mr Blair was apparently "incandescent with rage" when he discovered his Chancellor's horticultural exploits the following morning, which caused him to oversleep by two hours, missing the early edition of The Tweenies. His annoyance further increased when he was forced to cancel his planned afternoon sunbathing session.
Although the hedge was quickly removed by police under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and High Hedges Act, that night the Prime Minister decided to take revenge on Mr Brown. According to DeadBrain's correspondent, Mr Blair hooked up his electric guitar to the Downing Street emergency PA system and began playing a variety of riffs with "some aggression" at around 3am – half an hour after Mr Brown usually finishes working and goes to bed, and two hours before he normally gets up again.
Cherie Blair left with the Blair children a few minutes into his repertoire, but Mr Blair continued to play for another half hour until John Prescott arrived at the gates of Downing Street. Eyewitnesses say that Mr Prescott jumped out of his Jaguar and bellowed, "Oi, Tony, shut that bloody racket up or I'll give you a bunch of fives – I can hear it in Admiralty Arch!"
This, sources say, is what Mr Prescott meant when he told Radio 4 that he had been "mediating" between the two sides. The next morning a dishevelled Deputy Prime Minister, with bags under his eyes even bigger than normal, burst into Downing Street and propelled the two warring politicians into a room, interrupting a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister and a telephone conversation with an unidentified 0900 number.
What went on in the meeting is unclear, as no minutes were taken, but it is understood that voices were raised on a number of occasions, with a shout of "stop behaving like bloody kids" from Mr Prescott being heard outside. Since then the two sides appear to have settled into a period of détente, although Mr Blair has walked with a noticeable limp and Mr Brown was seen at the weekend with his arm in a sling.
Mr Prescott's office declined to comment on whether he had gone to a summit in Finland – a country he had previously described as being "too bloody cold" – just to get away from Mr Blair and Mr Brown.