Gordon Brown was unsure if he had been sacked by Tony Blair following a row about the euro in 2003, according to his former right-hand man.

Ed Balls, the ex-shadow chancellor, said that in the end the then Prime Minister “blinked”, but not before a tense half hour for Mr Brown.

Mr Balls, who will appear in the BBC’s dance competition Strictly Come Dancing from this weekend, reveals the incident in his memoir Speaking Out, published later this week.

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The argument began after Mr Brown said that he could not back joining the euro.

After a discussion between the two men, Mr Balls writes that he asked his then boss: "Are you still the chancellor?"

He says that Mr Brown replied: "I genuinely don't know. I don't know whether Tony's sacked me, or whether I've resigned, or whether we just carry on."

Mr Balls writes that “often” disagreements between the two “broke up (with them) not quite clear what had been agreed”.

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That afternoon, he reveals, he and Mr Brown sat for half an hour in Number 11 Downing Street not knowing what was going to happen next.

Mr Balls adds: “Then Tony blinked. A call came through from Number 10. Not only was Gordon still the chancellor, but the issue was settled, the debate on the euro was comprehensively won.

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"Sometimes in politics a decision not to do something can be just as significant."