From today's Telegraph. Gordon Brown's failure to turn up for the State Opening of Parliament may well have been because he couldn't look David Cameron in the face. Mandrake hears that one of Brown's final acts in the Downing Street bunker was quietly to organise a pay cut for his successor which he must have known would leave him out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds. On Brown's orders, the Prime Minister's remuneration package was cut from Â£194,000 to Â£150,000, but this was done with such stealth that no formal announcement was ever made. One imagines that the poor chap must therefore have set about implementing his pre-election pledge of an across-the- board cut in ministerial salaries of five per cent with a heavy heart as this took his salary down to Â£142,000. Over the course of a five-year parliament, I calculate the personal loss to Cameron will be in excess of Â£250,000, and this is not counting the pension benefits. "This was pure Gordon," harrumphs my man in Whitehall. "Quite prepared to make the big sacrifices â so long as it wasn't him who actually had to make them."