Arguably the two most powerful men in the country have not been elected to their posts. Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, became the leader almost by default. Did other members of the Labour Party decide not to pose a challenge to the leadership because on mature reflection they didn't fancy taking on the poisoned chalice left behind by Tony Blair?
The so-called mischief maker in chief, the 'Prince of Darkness' The Right Honourable The Lord Peter Mandelson PC* he of the convoluted title**, has been compared to Cardinal Richelieu in his pursuit of power and not found lacking. He fulfils the role of Deputy Prime Minister in all but name.
*PC - Privy Counsellor: Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the reigning monarch. Its members are mostly senior politicians, members and former members of the House of Commons or House of Lords.
**Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson,PC First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Lord President of the Council.