ANDREW GREAVES: 'Expect Brown to come out fighting today'

Gordon Brown is expected to come out fighting today with the launch of the Labour election manifesto, a sign that the race for Number 10 is well under way.

A key component appears to be his pledge to hand over public services - including schools, hospital authorities and police forces - to alternative providers in a bid to drive up standards.

While this sounds like a good idea on paper, the proof, as always, is in the pudding and it will be fascinating to see the flesh on the bones as it were.

That aside, the Labour party are staying tight-lipped over what else is in the manifesto but we’ll bring you a full report as soon as it is released at around 11.30am.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, The Mirror reported that Bolton North East candidate Deborah Dunleavy - a “Cameron Cutie” - had a “fling” with her boss, behind her husband’s back.

Cue sharp intake of breath around the Greaves breakfast table.

Shocked at such allegedly promiscuous behaviour, I just had to read on. Apparently the “fling” happened while the Tory candidate and her now ex-husband were separated...in the early 1990s.

It then goes on to reveal that Ms Dunleavy - who admitted that it was technically adultery because her and her husband at the time were still married - now lives with her former boss and their two daughters.

Hardly Desperate Housewives or Sex In The City is it?

Let’s try and keep this election campaign clean, the public’s opinion of politicians is already low and the last thing we need is newspapers with political agendas muckraking for the sake of it.

Tomorrow the BBC will be broadcasting from the Bolton West constituency all day, starting with Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast from the crack of dawn.

The Beeb recently came into our office to interview me about the race to succeed Ruth Kelly and that will be shown at some point on the show from 7am.

There is also a live televised debate on the BBC News Channel from noon with Julie Hilling, the Labour candidate, Susan Williams, the Conservative hopeful, and Jackie Pearcey from the Liberal Democrats.

You can also follow me on the social networking site Twitter.

I’ll be aiming to “tweet” as often as possible with the latest news, links to the best blogs on the web and various other things I find interesting throughout the campaign.

Just log onto www.twitter.com/AndrewGreavesBN

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