By politics.co.uk staff
After years of plotting from Labour politicians it took Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to finally end Gordon Brown's career, Peter Mandelson has revealed.
The former first secretary of state's memoirs, which are being serialised in the Times newspaper, claim Mr Clegg told Mr Brown a Lib-Lab coalition was only possible without Mr Brown in charge.
"Please understand I have no personal animosity whatsoever," Mr Clegg was quoted as telling Mr Brown.
"But it is not possible to secure the legitimacy of a coalition and win a referendum unless you move on in a dignified way."
Lord Mandelson's memoirs, The Third Man, are published this week, two months after the dramatic post-election negotiations which eventually resulted in the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government.
They paint a picture of a prime minister struggling to find a way to leave frontline British politics while saving some of his own dignity.
"I have been humiliated enough," Mr Brown was quoted as saying.
Lord Mandelson said he was becoming "increasingly concerned" at the "personal price" the Labour leader was paying to remain in power.
"Gordon recognised that he would probably have to go fairly soon as the price of a deal. The problem was going to be how, and when," he wrote.
Tony Blair, whose presence in No 10 prevented Mr Brown from taking the top job for many years, added his own pressure to the situation by insisting Mr Brown could not remain in charge, Lord Mandelson claimed.