Books

The Rivals By James Naughtie Publisher: Fourth Estate. ISBN:1841154733.368 pages.£16.99 (hardback).

Another party conference season, another book about the rivalry between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This one is by veteran Today programme presenter James Naughtie, who puts his own slant on familiar incidents, such as the Ecclestone affair.

Naughtie chronicles the close relationship between Blair and Brown - who shared a tiny, wondowless office when they first arrived in the Commons in 1983 - as well as the rivalries between their two camps and the machinations of Peter Mandelson.

Although Brown is still referred to as Blair's supposed successor by many commentators, Naughtie argues that the prime minister still has two ambitions. One is to win a referendum on joining the euro - the other is to serve a historic third term in his present job.

Inside Track By Robin Oakley Publisher: Bantum. ISBN:0593047699.£20 (hardback).

Robin Oakley took over as political editor of the BBC from the fabled John Cole - and was bitterly disappointed to be maneouvered out to make way for Andrew Marr. This book gives his side of his 'early retirement' for the BBC and discusses the workings of the media today. But it also recounts stories from Oakley's 30 years as a political journalist.

Give Me Ten Seconds By John Sergeant Publisher: Macmillan.400 pages. ISBN:0333904494.£20 (hardback).

ITN's political editor John Sergeant has also been writing his memoirs. These reveal that he started out flirting with comedy at the BBC, before moving into journalism. Like Oakley, Sergeant has 30 years of stories to recount about the BBC and the politicians he was sent to cover.