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The Bourne Ultimatum

Betsan Powys | 10:26 UK time, Monday, 6 October 2008

I disappear for a few days to the world of Mastermind Cymru and its black chair and re-emerge yesterday to find Nick Bourne in the chair of the Politics Show squirming more than any of the weekend's contestants .

He might not have had an autocue but it's pretty clear he had a script and that in the circumstances, had no choice but to stick to it. Either that or he would have been sporting a plaster above the other eye by the end of the day.

It was a case of no passes as far as opportunities to say sorry went: sorry, my fault, my mess, sorry again.

Has he done enough? Enough for what?

Enough to appease his staff? It's a start but putting right the damage done there, from what Mr Bourne himself suggested yesterday, will take another dose or two of humble pie and proof he's realised just how far he went wrong.

Enough to retain William Graham as chair of the group? I'm not so sure. In a Conservative group of twelve I can think of five who would be either happy or prepared to see Paul Davies, Preseli Pembrokeshire's quietly spoken but well briefed and well organised AM take over. Kung Fu Panda - and Mr Bourne himself was the first to crack that joke by the way - might even regard that one as a blow he's prepared to take to prove his contrition.

Enough to limit the damage? Limit it, yes. Repair it, no. There was absolutely no need to get himself into such trouble but the bottom line is that Mr Bourne's judgement has now been put in question - the kind of question you can't simply answer by sitting in a chair and saying sorry.

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