Diary: Downing Street PR turf wars continue

Press coverage of the new Downing Street PR team has dropped off somewhat after the frenzied reporting of recent weeks.

So what have chief of strategy Stephen Carter et al been up to of late? A well-connected Labour source says 'the turf wars continue' between Carter's appointees and the old guard. With Brown in dire trouble, Carter is said to have told one friend that he will 'give it six months', although others insist he has no plans to leave Brown in the lurch.

Meanwhile, David Muir, recently installed as director of political strategy, is said to be unhappy with suggestions that he is the brains behind Brown's attempt to label David Cameron a 'shallow salesman'. According to The Sunday Times, Muir drafted a strategy document stating that focus groups have compared the Tory leader 'with an estate agent from Foxtons, the London firm famed for its aggressive sales technique'. But sources close to Muir suggest he is not responsible for such a dossier.

Either way, the salesman strategy has hardly been a success: influential backbencher Jon Cruddas has attacked it and since Brown first used the phrase a few weeks back, Cameron's poll ratings have steadily risen.

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