Gordon Brown said yesterday he was 'confident' the government’s rescue package for Northern Rock would be waved through by Brussels, in spite of concerns raised about the deal.

Doubts were raised on Wednesday by the European Commission about the length of time it would take to return the nationalised bank to the private sector and the extent to which competition would be distorted in the meantime.

But Mr Brown appeared untroubled by the preliminary assessment of the Northern Rock package and said he had not even discussed it with José Manuel Barroso, the Commission president, during talks in Downing Street.

Financial Times