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Emails reveal Blair-Brown plotting
Emails showing how Tony Blair's aides sought to counter what they viewed as Gordon Brown's coup to secure power at Number 10 have emerged.
The messages detail how Mr Blair's core team tried to avoid declaring when he would step down as prime minister, 15 months after he had been voted to serve a third-term in power, to make way for Mr Brown's apparent succession.
The emails cover August 21, 2006 to September 8, 2006, and show how figures from Number 10 and Labour attempt to deal with increasing pressure for clarity on Mr Blair's future.
Ben Wegg-Prosser, former director of strategic communications in Number 10, is the source of the messages, which have been published by the Guardian.
The content includes discussions on which MPs could support Mr Blair's cause, statements drafted for the prime minister, briefings to the media and the apparent frustrations of Mr Blair.
There is also talk of finding candidates for a leadership contest with Mr Brown, including the possibility of persuading David Miliband to stand.
One message attributed to Liz Lloyd, then-deputy chief of staff at Number 10, on September 6 states: "I still cannot get up the courage to tell him his country needs him."
The emails have emerged on the eve of the publication of Power Trip: A Decade of Policy, Plots and Spin by Damian McBride.
Mr McBride was the former press secretary of Mr Brown and is referred to as "Damian McPrickface" by Mr Wegg-Prosser in the emails released.