Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was close to stepping down as Prime Minister to become the president of the European Commission.
His former communications chief Alastair Campbell, Blair discussed his ambitions with then French president Jacques Chirac and then German chancellor Gerhard Schroder on taking the EU job
However, he decided against it and fought the 2005 General Election.
Campbell said: “A lot of the time the press exaggerated our difficulties.
“This was one period where, if anything, they under played them because they didn’t know just how bad things were.
“This was the closest Tony got to leaving and at the time I was terrified it would get out because it was one of those stories that would have taken on its own momentum.
“Tony had pretty much had enough and was being ground down by Gordon. In the end he realised that and decided he had to stay and see it through.”