News wires across Europe are quite literally buzzing tonight after the shock announcement issued by Number Ten Downing Street that British Premier Gordon Brown has resigned himself to losing the next general election.
Westminster commentators have for the past month been unsettled by the PM's low profile. Even though it is holiday season - traditionally a time when the PM takes a well earned rest - Premier Brown's total abandonment of the political scene has been deemed unusual.
Some have seen the hand of Deputy PM, Lord 'Is this a knife I see before me' Handelson at play. The Dark Lord is a past master of pregnant pauses and cultivated absences. But the Lord of Spin as he is also known, tonight issued a categorical denial of any part in Gordon Brown's pregnant absence.
In a carefully worded statement tonight Lord Mandelson declared: 'I can say quite unequivocally that we are entering a new phase in political history: The era of deception is over. The era of spin is past. I might even say: 'The spin is dead, long live the spin.'
More on this breaking news as we get it... In other news, England has reclaimed the Ashes.