CHANCELLOR 'NOT EMPIRE-BUILDING'.
Prime Minister Tony Blair's supporters are uneasy about the high profile adopted by the Chancellor - seeing it, and talk of extra staffing in the Treasury, as a veiled leadership challenge.
They are also unhappy about Mr Brown's publication of a pre- Budget pamphlet, paid for out of his own pocket, and the postponement of a consultation document by Social Security Minister Frank Field.
But last night Paymaster-General Geoffrey Robinson insisted the Treasury wanted only to play an "enabling role" - not to set up a rival to the No 10 policy unit.
A spokesman for the Chancellor said the aim was to help departments come up with solutions, such as the recent announcement to make the London Underground a joint public-private affair.
He added: "To suggest that that we are trying to second-guess them is absolute nonsense."
Mr Robinson hopes to meet Cabinet Secretary Sir Richard Wilson next week to argue the case for a wider-ranging, inter-departmental role.